FIBROIDS

WHAT ARE FIBROIDS?

Fibroids are a painful condition that can occur in women of any age.  They are more common in menstruating women who have higher amounts of estrogen.

Fibroids are tumorous growths that occur on the uterus.  They can cause complications in pregnancy and they can be a cause of infertility, miscarriage and heavy periods.  They are the number one reason for having a hysterectomy.

YOUR UTERUS

The uterus has muscular tissue and fibrous tissue.  The muscular tissue acts just the same as muscles all over your body, it contracts, stretches and relaxes.

The uterus stretches as a baby develops and then contracts to expel the baby.

The uterine muscular tissues needs fibrous tissue to support it.

Fibroids develop when particles of fibrous tissue begin to grow in the muscular tissue.

TYPES OF UTERINE FIBROIDS

SUBMUCOSAL: grow in the innermost layer of the uterus

INTRAMURAL: grow in the middle layer of the uterus

SUBSEROSAL: grow in the outer wall of the uterus

PEDUNCULATED: attached to a stalk either outside of the uterus or within the uterine cavity

CERVICAL: in the cervical tissue

INTERLIGAMENTOUS: between the uterine broad ligaments

WHY DO FIBROIDS GET SO BIG?

Uterine fibroids are dependent on Estrogen.  Fibroid tissue has a higher amount of estrogen than progesterone receptor sites.  Fibroid tissue is very sensitive to estrogen, and does not have the ability to regulate estrogen very well, so this is why they can grow to become quite large.

HOW DO FIBROIDS AFFECT FERTILITY AND PREGNANCY?

  • They interfere with implantation
  • Compress the fallopian tubes, preventing conception
  • Abnormal uterine blood flow and preventing sperm from fertilising an egg
  • Risk of Miscarriage
  • Contribute to have problems expelling the placenta after birth
  • Risk of a postpartum hemorrhage
  • Risk of an abnormal labour

Not all women with fibroids will experience these problems and many go on to have healthy pregnancies even with fibroids present.

It would be better to work on reducing fibroid growth and formation of new fibroids growing, because of the risks to fertility and pregnancy problems.

LIFETIME EXPOSURE TO ESTROGEN

There are many factors that increase a woman’s lifetime exposure to estrogen, and this exposure can contribute to the development of uterine fibroids.  Here are some of the factors:

The longer a woman has her menstrual cycle, the longer estrogen levels are elevated.

Many women today are restricting how many children they are having or are not having children at all and this can increase more exposure to estrogen

Body fat produces and stores estrogen; so the more body fat a woman has, the more estrogen she will have

Xenoestrogens are found in plastics, pesticides, herbicides, synthetic hormones in both meat and dairy products, and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) including the birth control pill which contains synthetic estrogen

You have poor estrogen metabolism.  Some women have a harder time with removing and metabolising excess estrogen

ESTROGEN - PROGESTERONE BALANCE

Progesterone in your body will stop estrogen from building the uterine wall and will start your period.

Progesterone blocks estrogen receptors in various organs throughout your body, which reduces the impact of estrogen.  Progesterone also prevents estrogen from causing too much cell growth in the breast or the uterus.

Estrogen and progesterone can be thrown off balance by the following:

  • Birth control pills (even the ones with progesterone because it is synthetic)
  • Unbalanced bioidentical hormone replacement therapy
  • Synthetic hormones (HRT)
  • High alcohol intake 
  • High sugar diet
  • High carbohydrate diet
  • Conventional meat and dairy with hormones
  • Food high with phytoestrogens such as soy
  • Digestive issues (sometimes caused by unidentified food sensitivities)
  • Poor gut microflora

SYMPTOMS OF FIBROIDS

The majority of women do not know they have fibroids, as there will probably be no symptoms.  There are some women that will experience symptoms in the presence of fibroids, and these are:

  • A sensation of fullness or pressure in the abdominal area
  • Heavier than normal menstrual bleeding
  • Stronger than normal menstrual pains
  • Periods that lasts longer than a week
  • Bleeding in between periods
  • Constant pelvic pressure or pain
  • Frequent urination and trouble fully emptying the bladder
  • Constipation
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Lower back pain
  • Pain during sex
  • Bloating
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriages

Heavy bleeding is caused because of the presence of the fibroids.  The uterus cannot contract properly because the fibroids are in the way and so cannot control the bleeding.  Bleeding can go on for weeks or even months.  You are then at risk of developing iron deficiency and anaemia.  It is important to get regular checks with a doctor for iron levels and risk of anaemia. 

MEDICAL OPTIONS FOR TREATMENT OF FIBROIDS

MYOMECTOMY

A myomectomy can help to remove the existing fibroids that you have, but it will not prevent the tumours from growing back.  This method of uterine fibroid removal is the best of the two surgery choices for women that want to get pregnant.

HYSTERECTOMY

This surgical procedure removes the uterus completely and it can guarantee that fibroids will not grow back.  There are many other side effects that can occur from a hysterectomy including early menopause, an increased risk of osteoporosis and the inability to get pregnant.

EMBOLISATION

This method of treatment has proven to be effective at shrinking fibroids or destroying them completely, however, it is not without side effects.  This treatment should not be used if you want to get pregnant.  It is known to throw the body into early menopause and can cause infertility.

Medical procedures do not stop fibroids from growing back. Only diet and lifestyle factors would be able to support your body in preventing regrowth.

WHAT HAPPENS TO FIBROIDS POST MENOPAUSE?

Post menopause, fibroids will stop growing, the heavy bleeding will stop because your periods have stopped, you won’t get pelvic pain anymore because the uterus stops contracting, you can still experience pelvic pain because the fibroids are still there.  Fibroids do not shrink post menopause. 

NATURAL OPTIONS FOR FIBROIDS

To help with controlling fibroids, you need to look at cleansing and reducing exposure to xenoestrogens, promote good healthy estrogen metabolism and improve uterine health.

LIVER HEALTH

Work on ways to improve your liver health so you can properly metabolise hormones and increase circulation to your uterus.

AVOID XENO ESTROGENS

Eat organic foods

Avoid exposure to pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilisers

Use natural toiletries and makeup

Avoid food preservatives and artificial ingredients

Avoid plastics (BPA)

Drink clean filtered water

Avoid cooking with aluminium and non stick pans

REDUCING FIBROIDS WITH DIET

Eat more whole foods. 

When you can eat lots of fresh foods and less processed sugar foods, this will set up the building blocks your body needs to stay healthy.

FIBRE IS IMPORTANT

Fibre helps your body to get rid of excess estrogens.

Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables – dark leafy greens, broccoli, Swiss chard, quinoa, chia seeds, beans, ground flaxseed, brown rice, millet, buckwheat, oats.

AVOID ANTI NUTRIENTS

Avoid saturated fats, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and processed foods, which can contribute to estrogen dominance.

NATURAL REMEDIES

DANDELION ROOT AND LEAF

This plant provides excellent liver support for improved hormonal balance.  Dandelion leaf is very nourishing to the body and is high in vitamins and minerals.  The root helps nourish the liver and stimulates digestion for improved estrogen metabolism.

GINGER ROOT

Ginger root can help to increase circulation and promote blood flow to the uterus.  The increased circulation also helps to reduce inflammation of the uterus, ovaries or fallopian tubes.

BLACK COHOSH ROOT

This root promotes regulation of the menstrual cycle.  If the uterus feels inflamed or irritated throughout the month, Black cohosh can be an effective to relax the uterus and reduce inflammation.

RED RASPBERRY LEAF

Raspberry leaf is a great uterine tonic.  It works to tone the uterine muscles and normalise blood flow during menstruation.  It is one of the best herbs to normalise the female reproductive organs.

Raspberry leaf is astringent, contracting and shrinking internal and external body tissues.  It may help prevent hemorrhage due to excessive bleeding.

THIS CAN REALLY HELP YOU TO FEEL MORE CALM WITH LESS ANXIETY

THIS CAN REALLY HELP YOU TO FEEL MORE CALM WITH LESS ANXIETY

Do you have racing thoughts, irritability, anxiety or you just can’t switch off and relax or maybe you have sugar cravings too?

You may be deficient in GABA.

GABA is a neurotransmitter that crosses the blood brain barrier to calm you down.

You may not be producing enough of GABA if you are having these symptoms.

Just by taking GABA alone is not enough to give you relief as it cannot cross the blood brain barrier very effectively. 

WHAT IS GABA?

GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter which means it can calm down your brain, slow things down and relax you.

GABA is needed to help with digestion and your digestive health to keep bowel movements regular by contracting your bowels.  When you don’t have enough levels of GABA you can experience abdominal pain, constipation and a sluggish digestion. 

GABA contributes to your immune system health.

WHAT IS STOPPING GABA FROM GIVING YOU RELIEF FROM ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION?

To make enough GABA there is a step by step process that happens.

FIRST STEP

The first step to make GABA is to break down glucose, so, if you are having trouble keeping your blood sugar stable throughout the day or you are insulin resistant, then you may not be producing enough GABA to help you feel calm.

The first thing you need to do, is to have a stable blood sugar to get to the next step in making GABA.

SECOND STEP

The second step is the citric acid cycle and to make sure this happens, you would need a healthy blood sugar balance and various vitamins and minerals:-

  • Iron
  • Vitamin B3
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese

THIRD STEP

The third step is to make glutamate and you need enough Vitamin B6 for this

FOURTH STEP

The fourth step is to make GABA and you need enough B6 and magnesium for this

FIFTH STEP

The fifty step is to get GABA into your cells to be used and progesterone can really help to get GABA into your cells.

To help the above steps along, you would also need to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in your body.  You can do this by cutting back on processed foods and refined sugary foods. 

So, can you see how you can be depleted in GABA, especially if your progesterone levels are low and your diet contains too much processed foods and refined sugar!

FOODS TO HELP BOOST GABA PRODUCTION ARE

Lentils and other beans, walnuts, almonds and sunflower seeds, fish, lemon and limes, tomatoes, berries, spinach, broccoli, potatoes, and cacao.

Some herbs that I like to help reduce anxiety are:

  • Valerian
  • Lemon balm
  • Chamomile

Stress can affect your GABA levels and cause too much glutamate being made. 

Glutamate is an abundant neurotransmitter in your brain in very small concentrations.  If glutamate rises then this can overstimulate your brain cells and nerves and cause neurological inflammation and death of your cells. 

Too much glutamate can lead to high levels of anxiety, fear, insomnia, restlessness, nervousness etc.

So, when you can concentrate on finding ways to reduce stress levels in all forms such as diet stress, lifestyle stress, exercise stress and mind stress, this will go a long way to help control over stimulation of glutamate.

As always, I am here to help and support you and please do not hesitate to ask me for my help and support. 

We can set up a call together and have a chat for half an hour about what is troubling you the most and I can let you know how I can help you sort this out. 

You can book by going to my website and fill in the form or just reply to this email and ask me to set up a call, it’s that easy and can make a massive difference to your life. 

Book HERE

ARE THERE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ANXIETY?

ARE THERE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ANXIETY?

Anxiety happens

You are not messed up and broken. 

If anxiety is left for a long time, it can create a disorder and become a big disruptor to your day to day life.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF ANXIETY

You can be anxious but this is not anxiety. 

Anxiety can be crippling and paralysing and cause you to make decisions that can put you in dangerous situations.

You can be anxious from day to day and it can be things such as not being able to get what you want at the supermarket for example.

The types of anxiety are:-

  • Panic disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • General anxiety disorder
  • Phobias

Anxiety is the same imbalance for all types. 

You can have things that happen physically, panic disorders, situations etc there are lots of things that can cause anxiety.

WHAT CAUSES ANXIETY?

  • Hormone imbalance
  • Trauma
  • Diet
  • Sleep issues
  • Brain imbalance

HORMONE IMBALANCE

Too much estrogen can increase stress in your nervous system because estrogen has more receptors on the right side of the brain. 

Your brain is split into two sides.  The right side has more receptors for estrogen and the left side is for progesterone and testosterone.  The right side of your brain affects thinking, emotions, colour, stress and handling stress. 

It fires part of your nervous system called the sympathetic fight or flight system.  If it gets fired more than it should, then it will fire up the fight or flight system. 

It can be hard to just stop being anxious because this is happening.  The right side of your brain activity goes crazy and the anxiety can build up. 

DIET

There is a reason why you are craving foods.  Your cravings want fats and carbohydrates, refined sugars and chips or chocolate ice cream.  This will give you a quick high from the food and make you feel better.  This is because there is not enough of the feel good neurotransmitters being made in your body and you need these foods to give you relief. 

Your cravings can then create an addiction to the food because you are filling a void that is missing because you don’t feel good.  It is making your anxiety worse in the long run.  These triggers can create lots of different types of issues.

The foods you are craving can be emotionally stabilising for you during times of anxiety.  You can crave salt because your adrenal glands are stressed.  Your stomach will produce serotonin for a brief period of time to help you cope.

But this can lead to more issues long term such as:-

When you increase your sugar intake, this can then increase stress and inflammation

This can lead to a protein deficiency, which causes deficiency in neurotransmitters

When this becomes a way of life for you for a long period of time, it is important to take it slow to begin the process of healing.

You cannot just take away what is keeping you stable right now because this could make your anxiety worse even though the food is part of the problem.  The sugar is balancing your neurotransmitters even if it is making it worse. 

You need to begin to balance things out first, before you can take things out of your diet that is a safety net for you right now.  It can be the one thing that is making you feel “human and normal”.  It may be the one thing that is keeping you alive.

When you begin the process of feeding your body the nutrients it needs, the foods you eat can balance your neurotransmitters and begin the healing process. 

All this takes time, patience and support from your family and friends.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support. 

BALANCING YOUR BRAIN

When the right brain is over active, it is creating the sympathetic dominance fight or flight response.

When you are getting too much stress, this equals too much estrogen, too much sugar, too much estrogen toxins, which results in you being beaten down emotionally. 

The solution to this is:-

  • Get you stable now
  • Feed your body what it needs
  • Get back your stability for long term

BALANCE YOUR LIFESTYLE

What is needed is more balanced hormones by reducing your estrogen levels down. 

Some action steps to do this is to bring more balance into your gut by increasing your water intake, reducing your sugar intake and eating regular nutritional meals.  When you can introduce more nutrient rich meals including protein, this can help to balance out your blood sugar levels and take the pressure off your adrenal glands. 

The next step is to bring more balance to your left brain activity by doing some walking, yoga and journaling.

These activities will help to shut off anxiety and racing thoughts and bring more focus around the present moment and feeling more grounded. 

Brain balancing is key because it will create a long term balance. 

When you can create the habit of doing more “calm” activities into your life, this is called neuro plasticity.  This means that the more you do an activity, the more your brain neurons will fire better.  This can make your brain pathway much stronger.  When this can become a habit, that part of the pathway will function better.

STOP NEGATIVE THOUGHTS

You can have changes in your brains structure by having negative thoughts.  Sometimes this can be a way of life, maybe through negative circumstances during your lifetime, attitudes from others or thinking negatively about yourself.  This can become a downward spiral but it can be rebuilt and changed.  You can begin to take steps to reverse these negative thoughts and turn them into positive ones. 

You can change and rebuild your whole neurological system and feed your brain the way it was designed. 

You can make a start right now to get your brain trained to use the other pathway and choose happier thoughts.  What is the most effective way to get started, by journaling! 

When you write down your thoughts and feelings this can be very powerful to find out more about yourself and why you have negative thoughts and a negative life instead of a positive one.  Once you know this, this is when you can really start to make changes for the better. 

Here is a great book all about your brain and emotions:

Caroline Leaf  – Switch On Your Brain

HERE ARE MY TOP TIPS TO HELP REDUCE ANXIETY AND FREE YOURSELF FROM NEGATIVITY

Please note that if you are on any type of medication, you do not want to get off them straightaway.  Do this gradually.  Work with your medical doctor and tell them that you want to make changes.

Your diet is the gas to make all your bodily processes to work better.  You want to support it so it will work better.  If you haven’t got the right support, you are not going to get anywhere.

Start to incorporate these into your life.  Not all at once, as it could become overwhelming.  Start with a few and build up to them all over time. 

  • Daily movement
  • Breathing consistently and intentionally – you want your brain to get the proper oxygen it needs to be healthy
  • Hydration is important so make sure you are drinking enough water with a pinch of added Sea salt for better hydration into your cells
  • Eat protein with every meal to help keep your blood sugar stable
  • Make sure you are getting enough sleep and rest
  • Journaling – by getting your thoughts out on paper it will bring to your attention what is going on so you can see it.  You can learn what your triggers are, identify them and you can then begin to stop the triggers
  • Support – get someone to support you through this

FOOD AND SUPPLEMENTS TO HELP

FATS

Omega 3 found in fish oils or algae are essential for good brain health

ADRENAL SUPPORT

Fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds

Herbs – Rhodiola Rosea and licorice root

ESSENTIAL OILS

Young Living Mindwise is excellent

COQ10

Very important for increasing the function to utilise all types of sugar and increases the energy inside your cells.  It can help to protect your brain cells.

Foods rich in COQ10 are:- 

Spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, sesame seeds, pistachios, pork, beef, chicken, oranges, strawberries, lentils, sweet potato, egg yolk and butter.

DO YOU HAVE AN IODINE DEFICIENCY?

DO YOU HAVE AN IODINE DEFICIENCY?

A lack of iodine in your body can lead to problems with your thyroid.

Iodine is extracted from the bloodstream to make thyroid hormone and without enough iodine, you cannot make enough thyroid hormone and this will prevent your thyroid from working correctly. 

Symptoms of a serious iodine deficiency can be an enlarged thyroid, fatigue, weight gain and hair loss, especially the outer third of your eyebrows.  Some mild to moderate symptoms of deficiency can include:-

Changes to your metabolism

Low mood

Trouble concentrating or remembering things

Mood swings

Sensitive to cold

Dry skin

Dull hair

Iodine is found in every single one of the hundred trillion cells in your body and without enough iodine levels, your body will not be able to function optimally.

An iodine deficiency has also been linked to fibrocystic breasts. 

METABOLISM OF IODINE IN THE THYROID

Iodine enters the body in the form of iodate or iodide from food and drink every day.  The iodate converts to iodide in your stomach which is rapidly absorbed.  The thyroid gland then uses the iodide but levels can be low because the thyroid uses it quickly and it can also be eliminated in your poop.  It has been estimated that around 75% of the iodide enters the thyroid and some is used to make hormones. 

Your hypothalmus and pituitary gland controls the thyroid and the thyroid produces thyroxine which is T4 and triiodothyronine which is T3.  You need iodine for each of these. 

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN IODINE AND YOUR BRAIN FUNCTION

All cells and tissues depend on T3 and T4 thyroid hormones to regulate your metabolism. The human body is extremely sensitive to metabolism problems and depends on a variety of proteins and amino acids to perform all of the functions.

The brain is especially sensitive to a deficiency in iodine and not enough T3 and T4 hormones.

When you do not have good levels of iodine, your brain may not make enough neurotransmitters that are important for your mental health.  Neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, acetylcholine, epinephrine, serotonin and GABA are constantly influencing your mood, your brain processes and emotions all the time every day.

HOW DOES IODINE BENEFIT YOUR BRAIN FUNCTION?

T3 and T4 are involved in a chemical reaction which is necessary for your brain to function.  T3 and T4 thyroid hormones are involved with gene expression and the transcription of genes.  Your genes need to be turned on by stimulation from hormones, or your brain cannot produce neurotransmitters or the right number of neurotransmitters for regulation of your mental health.

A study has identified that over 30 genes are involved in GABA, norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine production.  That is a lot of genes!

WHAT CAN REDUCE IODINE IN THE BODY?

Chlorine, fluoride, and bromide could lower iodine levels in the body by blocking iodine receptors.  Chlorine is now used to purify water instead of iodine.  Fluoride can be found in toothpaste and drinking water.  Bromines have replaced iodine in commercial baked goods over 30 years ago.  These minerals can be toxic to your thyroid and can reduce iodine levels in your body. 

Soy and gluten could also be involved in blocking thyroid function by inhibiting the uptake of iodine.

WHAT IS THE RECOMMENDED DAILY AMOUNT OF IODINE?

In the USA, the recommended daily allowances (RDA) for iodine intake is 150 mcg in adults, 220–250 mcg in pregnant women, and 250–290 mcg in breastfeeding women.

You can find more information about the recommended daily amounts of iodine in the thyroid UK website here.

This recommended daily allowance is far too low though and the soils that fruits, vegetables and herbs are grown in can be depleted of iodine levels so the foods we are eating can have less amounts contained within them. 

Dr. David Brownstein has written a book about iodine and he has said:-

“After testing individuals and finding low iodine levels, I began to use smaller milligram amounts of iodine/iodide (6.25 mg/day).  Upon retesting these individuals 1-2 months later, little progress was made.  I therefore began using higher milligram doses (6.25-50 mg) to increase the serum levels of iodine. It was only with these higher doses that I began to see clinical improvement as well as positive changes in the laboratory tests.”

Dr Brownstein has sometimes used between 200 and 300 milligrams of iodine daily, with higher doses for more serious and difficult diseases.

Here are some more quotes from Dr Brownstein:-

“With Iodine Supplementation, hypothyroid and autoimmune thyroid symptoms improve.  Cancer therapies are more effective when iodine deficiency is rectified.  Most importantly, people feel better when the body is given the proper form and amounts of iodine.”   Dr. David Brownstein

“Iodine is not only necessary for the production of thyroid hormone, it is also responsible for the production of all of the other hormones of the body.  Adequate iodine levels are necessary for proper immune system function.  Iodine contains potent antibacterial, antiparasitic, antiviral and anticancer properties.  Iodine is also effective for treating fibrocystic breasts and ovarian cysts”.   Dr. David Brownstein

“Some of the conditions that would benefit from adequate iodine supplementation are and are not limited to:  ADD, Atherosclerosis, Breast Diseases, Excess Mucus Production, Fatigue, Fibrocystic Breasts, Hemorrhoids, Headaches and Migraines, Hypertension, Infections, Liver Diseases, Ovarian Disease, Parotid Duct Stones, Prostate Disorders, Thyroid Disorders, Vaginal Infections and more….”

Dr Brownstein’s book is called “Iodine, Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It.”

WHAT FOODS CONTAIN IODINE?

Sea Salt does contain some levels of iodine.

One of the best sources of iodine is seaweed such as kelp, nori or wakame. 

You can eat this as a nori wrap, buy it in dried or powder form to add to food.  Iodine is really concentrated in seaweed. 

1 tablespoon of Kelp contains about 2000/mcg of iodine

1 tablespoon of Arame contains about 730/mcg of iodine

1 tablespoon of Hiziki contains about 780/mcg of iodine

1 one inch piece of Kombu contains about 1450/mcg of iodine

1 tablespoon of Wakame contains about 80/mcg of iodine

You can download a fact sheet from the UK Iodine website here

OTHER SOURCES OF IODINE

CELTIC SEA SALT

Celtic sea salt is an excellent alternative to table salt and a good source of iodine.

WATERCRESS

Watercress is a very good source of good amounts of iodine. 

CRANBERRIES

They are rich in antioxidant and a great source of iodine.  About 110g or 4 ounces of cranberries contain approximately 400/mcg of iodine.

NAVY BEANS

Many beans are a great food source of iodine and navy beans may top the list. Just 1/2 cup of these beans contain about 32/mcg of iodine.

STRAWBERRIES

Strawberries can have up to 10% of your daily iodine needs in just a single serving.  One cup of fresh strawberries has approximately 13/mcg of iodine.

POTATOES

A potato is one of the richest sources of iodine.  Leave the skin on and one medium-sized baked potato has about 60/mcg of iodine.

TURKEY BREAST

About 80g of turkey breast can provide around 34 micrograms of iodine.

DRIED PRUNES

If you eat around 5 dried prunes a day, they can provide you with fibre, boron, vitamins, minerals and around 13 micrograms of iodine.

TUNA FISH

Canned tuna of around 80g can provide around 17 micrograms of iodine.  It also provides the body with vitamin D, iron, protein and minerals.

BOILED EGGS

A hard boiled egg can provide around 12 micrograms of iodine.  It also supplies the body with vitamin A, E, antioxidants, calcium, protein and zinc.

BANANAS

A medium sized banana provides around 3 micrograms of iodine.

CHEDDAR CHEESE

About 28g of Cheddar cheese can provide around 12 micrograms of iodine.

GREEN BEANS

A half cup serving of green beans provides around 2% of the daily value of iodine. Green beans are a great source of folate, vitamin B, C, protein and potassium as well.

IODINE DEFICIENCY

An iodine deficiency can have an impact on growth and development and also affect your thyroid from functioning correctly. 

Your thyroid stimulating hormone controls your thyroid hormone.  The secretion of TSH will rise when iodine levels fall below around 100 mcg a day.  Very low iodine intake can reduce your thyroid hormone being produced.  If your iodine levels fall below around 10-20 mcg a day, you can be at risk of hypothyroidism. 

Sources

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iodine-HealthProfessional/

https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/iodine-foods/

https://www.healthbeckon.com/iodine-rich-foods/

https://www.terrytalksnutrition.com/health-articles/iodine-the-forgotten-medicine/

https://drprevent.com/iodine-its-a-biggie/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3074887/

https://healingsolutionshealth.myshopify.com/collections/the-iodine-protocol

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3978256/

CAN ESSENTIAL OILS HELP WITH BALANCING HORMONES?

CAN ESSENTIAL OILS HELP WITH BALANCING HORMONES?

WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS?

They are the most powerful part of a plant.  They are the life blood of the plant.  Just like your blood clots through cuts and oxygenates your cells and detoxes the body, oils do the same thing for the plant.  They are distilled from shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes, rinds, resins, herbs, fruit.  Oils consist of over a 100 natural organic compounds.  Plants can photo synthesise, work through trauma, energise and they can do similar things in the human body. 

In humans, oils can provide support for every system in the body, your skeletal system, muscular system, brain health, circulatory system, endocrine system and hormones.  They can help support a healthy weight and support your respiratory system and aid your immune system to support you when everyone else is sick.  Oils can support every organ in your body, your liver, kidneys, heart, colon and can be used for emotions and grounding and for spiritual support.  Oils in a diffuser can help calm you down, especially if you have had a stressful day at work. 

Oils can be used as an alternative to toxic chemicals in your home.  Thieves can be used to start to swap out the chemical cleaners in your home. 

There are about 300 oils on the earth but you only need about 10 to 20 to get started and you don’t need to be an aromatherapist to know how to use them.  In most cases you are using them topically on the skin.

Choosing the right essential oil is very important though.  There are so many essential oils available.  Most of the essential oils I have come across have been diluted down, they are not therapeutic grade and may have been distilled more than once so you are not getting 100% of the plant.  It’s like re using a tea bag a second time, you won’t get all the flavour.  It’s the same for essential oils.  A lot of the essential oils do not comply with certain standards either. 

What do I mean when I say “therapeutic grade”.  This means that they are 100% pure and have been made seed to seal.  Young Living essential oils are 100% pure and safe to ingest.   

Therapeutic grade essential oils such as Young Living are completely safe and effective. 

They are distilled from inside the plants and they are 100% pure, no fillers and no dilution.  They are made by a process of seed to seal and follow strict guidelines.  They will only use seed to seal suppliers and these suppliers are regularly checked to make sure they are following their strict guidelines of seed to seal every time to make sure they are 100% therapeutic grade.

Watch my video for a quick overview of how to use essential oils, how they are absorbed in the body, how they can be beneficial as a supplement and how essential oils can assist with balancing hormone levels.

For a more indepth look at what essential oils are and how they can be used to help with hormone imbalance, skin health, balancing mood, balancing weight, helping with sleep issues and lots more, you can purchase my ebook on the ebook section of my website.

SWAP SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE UNHEALTHY FOODS FOR HEALTHY ONES

SWAP SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE UNHEALTHY FOODS FOR HEALTHY ONES

Everyone has a favourite food, what is yours?

A lot of your favourite foods may not be a healthy food such as pizza, ice creams, creamy sauces, chips and ketchup maybe. 

Foods are connected to celebrating and can have an emotional trigger.  

When you are feeling down, you may want to eat a tub of ice cream.  Do you feel guilty afterwards?

You can change any recipe into a healthy one. 

Here are some ideas for you to make healthier recipes to the unhealthy ones.

PASTA

If you love pasta there are lots of ways you can still eat this by making healthier versions of it.

You could buy buckwheat noodles called soba noodles, chickpea pasta, lentil pasta.  There are lots of different plant based ones you could use. 

These are processed so if you want to go more natural you could spiralise some courgettes, carrots, cucumbers, squash or sweet potato.  Pop them into a steamer and lightly steam until soft.  Plate up and top with your favourite sauce. 

Here is a recipe to make from the Every Last Bite website

BUTTERNUT SQUASH PASTA WITH CASHEW ALFREDO SAUCE

SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

1 Butternut Squash (approx 5 cups noodles)

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup chopped bacon OR leave out for veggie version

110g/2/3 cup cashews, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes

1 clove garlic

60ml/1/4 cup almond milk

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

57g/1/4 cup frozen peas or 1 cup spinach

1 tbsp parsley chopped

INSTRUCTIONS FOR CASHEW ALFREDO SAUCE

Preheat to oven to 200 degrees Celsius (395 degrees Fahrenheit).  Peel the butternut squash and spiralize into noodles or use a julienne peeler to cut thin noodles.  Place the butternut squash pasta into a steamer and steam until soft.

Combine the cashews, garlic, almond milk, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth.  Add a splash of water if the sauce is too thick.  Fry the bacon in a skillet until crisp (if using).  Pour the sauce into the skillet along with the frozen peas or spinach and heat until warm.  Add in the butternut squash pasta and toss to coat in the sauce. Top with chopped parsley before serving.

TOMATO SAUCE

200g/1 cup tomatoes – roughly chopped to help blending

6 soaked sun-dried tomatoes

52g/1/4 cup of the soaking liquid

2 cloves garlic

1 fresh medjool date

1 tsp sea salt

Chopped parsley or basil for garnish

Optional – Add in any herbs and spices of your choice

INSTRUCTIONS FOR TOMATO SAUCE

Soak the pitted date and sundried tomatoes in warm water for 10 to 30 minutes to allow them to soften.  Place the dates, sundried tomatoes, soaking liquid, chopped tomatoes, sea salt, garlic and any herbs and spices of your choice, in food processor/ blender and blend until smooth.  Pour the sauce over the pasta and mix together.  Top with fresh chopped parsley or basil.

USE GLUTEN FREE FLOUR

You can buy gluten free flour such as ground almonds or meal, coconut flour or buckwheat flour.  You could go one step further and buy some gluten free sprouted flour.  When it is sprouted, this brings out more of the nutrients.

Ground almonds can be used in all baking, bread, cakes, pizza crusts, pastry cases etc.

Buckwheat flour is excellent to use for savoury items such as pastry crusts and also pizza crusts, tortillas or pancakes.

Recipe using gluten free flour from Rachael Hartley Nutrition website

CINNAMON SPICE RAISIN COOKIES – NO SWEETENER

MAKES ABOUT 25

For a chocolate version, use regular raisins instead of golden raisins and add cocoa powder to the mix.

INGREDIENTS

400G/2 cups golden raisins

360G/3 cups almond meal

2 tablespoons almond butter or cashew butter

52G/1/4 cup coconut oil

2 tablespoons water

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cloves

Large pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS

In a medium bowl, warm 3-4 cups of water for 3 minutes. Add golden raisins and let them plump for about 5-10 minutes.  Drain the raisins and transfer to a food processor. Blend until pureed, about 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and process until fully combined and blended, scraping down sides as needed.  Form the batter into balls.  The batter is very sticky so if you wet your hands, it can help from sticking to them as much. 

Place them 2 inches apart on a parchment paper lined baking tray.  Flatten a little bit with the back of a spoon and bake at 325/160C for 15-20 minutes until the tops are golden.  The bottoms have the tendency to brown, so you may want to check after about 15 minutes.  Let cool a few minutes on the baking tray and transfer to a wire rack to cool fully.  They will keep in a covered container at room temperature for a few days, or store in the refrigerator for a week or so.

CHEESE SAUCE

Shop bought cheese sauces can contain lots of additives, sugars and lots of cream and lacking in nutrition. 

You can make a dairy free version that has lots of nutrition.

Here is a recipe using cashew nuts as the base for the cheese sauce.

300g Cashew nuts – soaked for at least 4 hours

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

2 tbsp water

1 tbsp Hemp seeds

Half red pepper

1 tbsp tamari or coconut aminos

1 spring onion – chopped

1 Sundried tomatoe – use dried ones with no oil if you can and rehydrate in warm water

1 tsp dried basil

Pinch Sea salt

Blend together to make the sauce.  You could add in some carrot or courgette instead of the red pepper. 

MAKE YOUR OWN FRENCH FRIES/CHIPS

French fries smothered in tomato ketchup are a great comfort food.

You can make your own by baking them instead and using sweet potato instead of white potato. 

This way you can add in some herbs and spices too.  You can cut them into thin strips and mix with any herbs and spices you want with a bit of olive oil. 

For an oil free version, steam the sweet potato for a few minutes then toss with some spices and herbs.  I love paprika, turmeric and cinnamon with basil and oregano herbs.

Put them onto a parchment lined baking tray and roast in hot oven to crisp up and brown. 

3 large sweet potatoes, sliced into thin strips

1 tbsp Melted coconut oil or mix with a drizzle of olive oil

Herbs and Spices of your choice – sea salt, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, basil, oregano, or thyme

Mix all ingredients together so herbs and spices are well coated.  Bake at about 200C for 25 – 30 minutes or until brown and crispy.

TOMATO KETCHUP SAUCE

200g organic tomato paste

1 tbsp raw organic honey

1 tbsp raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar

1/4 tsp mustard

1/2 tsp sea salt

60ml water

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl and serve with the fries!

MAKE YOUR OWN ICE CREAM

You can make ice cream with frozen bananas. 

Blend bananas with flavour of your choice such as raspberries, strawberries, cacao powder, dates, anything you like.

You could also soak a cup of cashew nuts overnight in a cup of water.  Drain the cashew nuts and put into blender with a fresh cup of water and blend until creamy. 

Add some flavouring such as maple syrup and vanilla essence/extract.  Blend again, then put into the fridge for around 2 hours to thicken and chill.

MAKE YOUR OWN DRESSINGS

The dressings you can buy in the supermarket are not very good and full of bad fats, sugars and additives.

You can make your own very simply and there are lots of different ways to make dressings taste great.

Here are a few examples.

CHICKPEA DRESSING

Combine a teaspoon of minced garlic with 90g/3/4 cup garbanzo/chickpea flour. 

Add 2 tablespoons of Tahini which is sesame seed butter and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. 

Finish it with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a pinch of sea salt.

TAHINI DRESSING

3 1/2 tbsp raw tahini (or any tahini you prefer)

2 tbsp mustard

4 tbsp coconut aminos or tamari sauce

The juice of 1 large lemon

1 teaspoon curry powder, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper – if you want spicy!

1/4 tsp pink himalayan salt (or Dulse flakes to replace salt)

4 tbsp water instead

Place all the ingredients into a small bowl and mix it well.

TOMATO DRESSING

3 large tomatoes

1 cup chopped celery

75g/½ cup raw sesame seeds

Chunk ginger – peeled and roughly chopped

2 tbsp lemon juice

Blend all ingredients together.

MAKE YOUR OWN DIPS

Most of the dips you buy contain sugars, bad fats, additives and flavourings.

You can make your own that are easy.

These swaps are full of flavour and taste just as good. 

TOMATO SALSA

INGREDIENTS

3 Tomatoes

1/2 red pepper

3 soft dates finely chopped

3-4 sun dried tomatoes (optional)

1/4 tsp garlic powder or fresh

2 Tbsp spring onion

1 Tbsp chopped ginger

Juice of 1/2 lime

Splash olive oil

Handful of fresh basil

Pinch of chilli – optional

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Pulse all ingredients in a processor or blender keeping some texture.

PEA AND WALNUT PESTO

Recipe from the One Green Planet website 

SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

1 bag frozen peas

2 tablespoons fresh basil

3 tablespoons raw walnuts

1 garlic clove

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine peas with water and bring to a boil.  Strain the peas and add to food processor along with other ingredients and puree until all ingredients are combined.  Serve right away or store in refrigerator in airtight container for up to a week.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND CHICKPEA SPREAD

By Christine Bailey website 

INGREDIENTS

200g / 7oz butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into large wedges

3 garlic cloves, unpeeled, left whole

1tbsp honey, optional

2tbsp olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt

1 x 400g / 14oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1tbsp tahini

Juice of ½ lemon

½ tsp smoked paprika

Pinch of ground nutmeg or cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4.  Place the pumpkin and garlic in a shallow roasting tin. Toss with the honey and 1tbsp olive oil and season with black pepper and salt.  Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until tender. Allow to cool.  Peel the garlic cloves and place with the pumpkin in a food processor.  Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor and process until smooth.

ROASTED GARLIC AND FRESH HERB CREAM

By One Green Planet website

INGREDIENTS

1 small head garlic

4 tablespoons fresh chopped herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, chives, and/or oregano

300g/1 cup raw cashew pieces, soaked in water 8-10 hours, rinsed and drained

57g/1/4 cup coconut butter or 20g/1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, soaked in water for about 15 minutes, drained

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2-1 teaspoon garlic powder

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 450°F/225C.  Cut off the top 1/3 or so of the garlic and wrap the head in foil.  Place the garlic in the oven and roast for 30-45 minutes, or until fragrant and very soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before unwrapping.  Line a container with cheesecloth.  Sprinkle the bottoms of the ramekins with one tablespoon each of the herbs, reserving the remaining herbs.  Meanwhile, in a food processor, process the cashew pieces, coconut butter or coconut flakes, and salt until fairly smooth.  It will not get completely smooth. Squeeze the cloves from the roasted garlic and drop into the bowl of the food processor.  Add the garlic powder and the lemon juice and process until thoroughly combined.  Divide the mixture between the container, pressing the cheese down into the herbs and cheesecloth.  Tap the container on the counter a few times and level the top. Sprinkle the remaining herbs on top, gently press them into the cheese and cover with the ends of the cheesecloth.  Place in the refrigerator and let set overnight.  The next day, remove and gently tug the cheesecloth to remove the cream cheese.  Serve with bread or crackers –  or place them in an air-tight container for up to one week.

WHAT FOODS ARE CAUSING INFLAMMATION AND PREMATURE AGING?

WHAT FOODS ARE CAUSING INFLAMMATION AND PREMATURE AGING?

Your skin is a big reflection of everything that is going on inside your body.

Aging can show up as chronic, low grade inflammation.

The connection between inflammation and aging is so strong that a name has been created for it – “inflammaging.”

Some foods, more than others can accelerate this process by adding fuel to the inflammation fire.

Chronic inflammation can show up in the body as aches and pains as well as an increased risk for age related diseases such as atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s, and type 2 diabetes.

Inflammation can induce oxidative stress and can affect your skin by reducing your cells ability to defend themselves from free radical damage.  This can result in collagen breakdown, wrinkles forming and loss of elasticity in your skin resulting in saggy skin.

WHAT ARE AGE’S AND HOW DO THEY AFFECT AGING?

AGEs means – advanced glycation end products.  They are toxic compounds and they form naturally in small amounts in your body.  They corrode your body the same way rust can damage metal in a machine if it is allowed to build up.

AGEs can cause proteins to stick together and after many years, the AGE proteins can become rigid.  

This can be one reason why joints, muscles and tendons become stiff and inflexible over time.

This is why blood vessels become thick and lose elasticity, and cause hardening of the arteries, which can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease.

Oxidation depletes the natural reserves of antioxidants.  Antioxidants are what can neutralize the effects of AGEs, but only up to a point.

The body will react to the AGEs as if it was an infection but the body will be limited in how it can eliminate it effectively.  This is done by creating low level inflammation as a reaction to these AGE’s.  The body deals with an infection by raising body temperature until the infection is healed and goes away.  The problem with AGE’s is when you are constantly consuming foods containing them, the inflammation will not go away.  Over time, it can slowly damage every organ in your body and speed up aging and affect your brain health.  This may not be noticed for many years. 

AGEs can be found in large quantities in most of the foods we eat today.  Food processing by food manufacturers, or cooking food using dry heat to make it digestible and tasty, also help raise AGEs to dangerous levels for the body.

AGEs are responsible for the taste, appearance and the smell of foods you enjoy such as a grilled burger or fried chicken, a pizza, soft drinks, bacon, corn tortillas or biscuits etc.

AGEs have been linked to diseases and health problems, including diabetes, heart and kidney disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, arthritis, osteoporosis, skin aging, poor wound healing etc.

These food AGEs can cause inflammation in your body.  The best way to reduce these is to cook your food by boiling, steaming, slow cooking, low to medium heat baking, and medium heat pan frying.

You cannot stop the aging process, but you can increase the longevity of your skin and body by eliminating some of these foods.

SUGAR

When you eat sugar, insulin is released to take this sugar into your cells or stored in your body.  You need sugar to fuel your body, but if you consume foods to produce high levels, this can be extremely inflammatory. 

Increased blood sugar levels can also accelerate a natural process called glycation, in which glucose attaches to proteins in the body and makes them rigid, this can affect your skin health and a reduction in collagen and elastin that help to keep your skin smooth, elastic and tight. 

The blood sugar highs and lows that you experience from sugary food or a heavy carbohydrate meal, can really affect your energy levels leaving you feeling fatigued.  Have you experienced an after 3 pm slump?

You can also be increasing your risk of developing insulin resistance when you eat too much sugar.  When this occurs, insulin becomes less effective at lowering blood sugar and its levels become abnormally high.  This will result in an increase of body fat around your body.  It can also contribute to developing type II diabetes.

VEGETABLE OILS SUCH AS SUNFLOWER OIL OR RAPESEED OIL

These oils are unnatural and processed foods.  They also contain polyunsaturated omega-6 essential fatty acids, which can set off the inflammatory process within your body.

Omega 3 essential fats signal the chemical messengers that turn off the inflammatory process but, the average person can be consuming about 10 to 15 times more omega 6’s than omega 3’s.

If you can consume omega 3 and omega 6 in equal quantities, you have more of a chance to keep the inflammatory process under control. 

Keep checking the ingredient labels of everything you buy. 

Vegetable oils are a main ingredient in processed foods such as mayonnaise, biscuits, cakes or crackers etc.

WHEAT, BARLEY AND RYE

Gluten is a protein known as gliadin.  Gluten has been linked with causing a lot of digestion issues and digestion diseases such as crohns or colitis. 

It can cause the lining of the gut to break down, resulting in toxins or undigested foods being able to penetrate this lining and into your bloodstream.  When this happens, your body is alerted and will create an immune response and a significant cause of chronic inflammation.  

They can cause intestinal inflammation

Medical News today has stated that as well as contributing to the development of bowel-related inflammatory conditions, we believe that ATIs can promote inflammation of other immune-related chronic conditions outside of the bowel.  

I have written another article about Gluten and how it affects digestion and hormones and you can read it by going here.

ALCOHOL

Alcohol can rob your body of Vitamin A.  Vitamin A is an antioxidant that is essential for cell renewal and turnover. 

The occasional glass or two of wine is probably not going to do a lot of harm to your skin health, but drinking heavily, especially sugary drinks, can cause free radical damage. 

If you want to drink alcohol, stick to reduced sugar alcohol drinks such as wine, champagne and spirits such as vodka and soda with a slice of lime or lemon in it. 

Drink alcohol in moderate amounts and include a glass of water with every alcoholic drink. 

REFINED GRAINS

These are high glycemic simple carbohydrates and can be converted to sugar in your body very quickly. 

A single serving of healthy whole grain breakfast cereal can have a glycemic index higher than table sugar!  

These can result in an insulin spike which can go on to cause inflammation in your body.

More reasons to ditch the sugary processed breakfast cereals!

FRIED FAST FOODS

Fast food restaurants will probably use unhealthy oils to cook the food in.

When you consume foods cooked in the unhealthy oil, it releases free radicals in the body.  Free radical damage can cause oxidative stress in your body and go on to affect your health and wellbeing, including heart disease and wrinkles.

TRANS FATS/HYDROGENATED FATS

Trans fats are really bad for your skin cells.  Fats that have been artificially hydrogenated are some of the most inflammatory substances there are.

Trans fats may make you more susceptible to skin damage from the harmful rays of the sun.

Hydrogenated fats can be found in a lot of packaged foods, so it is best to check all ingredients lists on the foods you buy. 

SALT

Sodium is needed for the health of your body but the quality of your salt is particularly important.  Most packaged and processed foods contain high levels of processed salt that is not good to be eaten.

This type of salt can leave you feeling lethargic, bloated and have retention of water.  Excessive amounts of salt can leave you feeling dehydrated. 

Eat foods that contain a mineral salt such as celtic sea salt or Himalayan pink salt.  This type of salt contains healthy minerals and also taste good.

PROCESSED MEATS

Processed meats such as bacon, ham, and sausage can also accelerate aging.

These meats contain chemical additives, such as nitrates, monosodium glutamate, and other dangerous substances that can lower the immune system and create disease.

Processed meats usually contain a great amount of salt as well, which can affect your skin health.

Eat organic grass fed meats that do not contain added chemicals and preservatives.

CAFFEINATED BEVERAGES

Caffeine can have a drying effect on the skin.  How many cups of coffee do you drink per day?  This could be making you more dehydrated and causing your skin to look a bit dull, dry and washed out.  The caffeine can act like a diuretic, preventing you from holding on to water.

Try limiting your coffee intake to one or two cups a day and drink plenty of water too throughout the day.

WHAT FOODS ARE PROTECTIVE OF TOXINS AND CARCINOGENIC COMPOUNDS AND OXIDISED FATS?

WHAT IS HETEROCYCLIC AMINES?

Meat that is exposed to high temperature or cooked on a BBQ, can cause the amino acids, sugars, and creatine within it to react and form heterocyclic amines (HCA).  

There has been an animal study carried out to suggest that HCAs are mutagenic and can create a DNA mutation which can change gene expression.  HCA’s have been linked to cancers.

There are some foods that, when eaten with a meal, can protect against the harmful effects of foods cooked at high temperatures.

All fruits, vegetables and salads will be protective against HCA’s when eaten with a meal.

Coffee can bind and inhibit HCA’s as it contains polyphenols and fibre.

Red wine consumed with a meal can inhibit the carcinogen action in the digestion after consuming meat.

Marinade your meat and veggies before you cook them or BBQ, will help to reduce the formation of toxic compounds like HCA and AGE’s.

To make a marinade, use a good fat such as olive oil; and lemon or lime juice or vinegar; add some herbs and spices such as garlic, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, cumin etc.  The marinade will reduce the toxic compounds considerably.  The more herbs and spices you use will be better. 

The Natural Medicine Journal has this to say about HCA protectors.

Sugar will increase the formation of HCA, especially when combined with soy sauce.   Go for natural sugar such as raw honey or brown sugar instead.  Soy sauce or tamari sauce and sugar would be better mixed with garlic and ginger.  Teriyaki sauce does contain all these.

Beware of shop bought marinade sauces as these will contain lots of sugars that won’t work to reduce HCA’s and AGE’s.

So, to summarise this, if you are pan frying, grilling or cooking your food over a BBQ, as long as you use a healthy fat such as olive oil or coconut oil, no refined sugars, include natural sugar, lemon or lime juice or vinegar and lots of herbs and spices for a marinade, this will help to reduce the toxic compounds.  Pair this with a salad and vegetables with a glass of red wine and some coffee with dessert and this will also help to reduce the toxic compounds.  Enjoy your pan fried, grilled or BBQ cooked foods. 

How many of these foods are you eating? 

If you make a start today by cutting out or cutting down on some of these foods, this will help to limit the aging process and excel your health and wellbeing.

There is one food that can help with so many health issues, especially reducing inflammation and that is turmeric.  

Here is a great blog written by Lyfe Botanicals to explain more about how great turmeric is.

For more help with continued weight maintenance or help with any health related issues, get in touch and set up a call with me to discuss this further. 

Set up a call with me by clicking here.

CAN YOUR DIGESTION HAVE AN IMPACT ON YOUR HORMONES AND VICE VERSA?!

CAN DIGESTION HAVE AN IMPACT ON YOUR HORMONE HEALTH AND VICE VERSA?!

During perimenopause and menopause, you could be feeling like you are having more digestion problems than before. 

This is because your hormones are fluctuating and going on a rollercoaster ride, up and down. 

Your stomach acid levels can be reduced because of the rollercoaster of hormones.  It can also affect how fast the food that you eat travels through your digestive system causing some bloating or constipation. 

HOW DOES THE DIGESTION WORK?

Digestion starts in your mouth with the digestion of carbohydrates. 

Make sure that you are chewing your food really well before you swallow it, your stomach will thank you for it.

Now you have chewed your food and it has entered your stomach, what happens now?

The next part of digestion is when your stomach starts to pass the broken down food particles through to your small intestines to finish digestion and so your body can absorb the nutrients from the food.  The small intestine has 3 parts to it, the duodenum, ileum and jejunum. 

The pancreas plays a big role with digestion by secreting enzymes and the production of bile to finish digestion of protein, carbohydrates and fat.  Your body can then absorb all the nutrients from your food. 

The bacteria that live within your digestive tract are very beneficial in aiding in digestion and absorption of the food you eat too.  They are lactobacilus and Bifidobacterium. 

Food is absorbed through the lining of the small intestine through the finger like tentacles of your micro villi, with the help of your bacteria. 

The last part of the digestion process is the large intestine.  It is 1.5m long and it takes around 12 to 24 hours for elimination of waste via the rectum after you have eaten. 

The colon absorbs water and minerals from indigestible fibre. 

Bacteria in the large intestine feed on non digestible food by the human digestive tract and convert the food into poop ready for elimination. 

Are you pooping at least once a day.  Ideally it is best to go 2 or 3 times a day.  The quicker you can get waste out of your body, the less toxins will be re-absorbed back into your body. 

HOW TO CREATE A HEALTHY DIGESTIVE SYSTEM

Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.”

This may not be 100% true for every disease in every person, but more research shows that your digestive system can play a bigger role in many diseases than you might think. 

Some problems that can arise in your digestive tract are – heartburn, constipation, diarrhoea, IBS, IBD etc.  These could lead to allergies, pain, mood disorders, and nutrient deficiencies.

Your gut is the portal to the outside world and your digestive system can take in disease causing bacteria, viruses, and parasites.  You also take in nutrients and toxins through your gut.  The nutrients that are ingested and absorbed are the building blocks of every single part of your body.

There is still so much to learn about the connections between your digestive tract and other areas of your body, like your brain known as the gut brain axis.  

Your digestive tract houses tons of friendly microbes too. These have lots of roles to play in your digestive system health.

WHAT ROLES DO YOUR DIGESTIVE SYSTEM MICROBES PLAY IN YOUR OVERALL HEALTH?

Your digestive tract is your barrier, it lets things in your body that you want to get in, which are nutrients, and keeps things out that should be kept out such as waste to be eliminated.

This should be simple right, but it can be really complex and this system can start to break down.

Your digestive tract lining can leak and allows things to get into your bloodstream and your body that can wreak havoc in your body.  Things such as bacteria, undigested food, and toxins.

Anything you put into your mouth can be absorbed by your digestive system and get into your bloodstream, even if it is not supposed to.  When your gut wall gets irritated, this is when it can leak.  When this happens, you get inflammation, and this can be the start of many diseases that don’t seem linked to the digestive system but have an unfortunate connection there.

Did you know that about 70% of your immune system lives in and around your digestive system?

A healthy digestive system maintains its barrier and the food you eat, passes through, is absorbed, and the waste is eliminated.

The second important part of your digestive system, is the billions of friendly health promoting microbes.  Gut microbes help you digest and absorb nutrients.  They fight off disease causing microbes, make certain vitamins, and have all kinds of other health benefits, like mental health benefits, reducing inflammation, and stabilizing blood sugar.

HOW TO IMPROVE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM HEALTH?

It’s always best to eliminate the cause rather than just treat the symptom.

Stop feeding your digestive system junk to deal with.  That means eliminating added sugars, processed foods, and alcohol.  Try that for a few weeks, and you may be amazed at how much better your body and digestive system feels.

You may also want to eliminate other digestion irritants such as dairy and grains.  These can contain compounds that can irritate some people’s digestive system.  Try to eliminate them for a full month to see if it makes a difference to your health.

Eat nutrient dense foods to maximise the chance of them being absorbed.  These nutrients can help your body to build and repair your digestive system, and every other part of your body.  Some nutrient dense foods to include are dark leafy greens and fruits and vegetables that contain fibre. 

If you are not eating enough fibre every day, this can increase your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity.  Fibre feeds your good bacteria in the digestive tract, to help you to digest and absorb your food.

TIPS TO HELP WITH DIGESTION

Are you paying attention to how you are eating?

Make sure that you are chewing your food really well and not gulping it down as fast as you can. 

Try not to get too hungry because this can lead to eating food too fast and you will end up gulping it down.  You are then not focusing on chewing your food properly. 

This will really help your body to digest food properly and result in less stomach discomfort.

Before you start eating, take a few deep breaths so you are fully relaxed and aware of what you are eating.  This will help start the digestion process and the food you eat will pass through the digestion much better. 

Eat until you are satisfied and start to feel full.  It takes at least 20 minutes for your stomach to tell you that it is full! 

Even if you have not finished the food on your plate, do not overeat because this can cause a lot of stress on your digestion.  Save the food for later.  Next time, you can give yourself a smaller portion when you know how much you can eat to feel satisfied. 

Nurture your gut bacteria and feed it what it loves to eat and that is fibre.  It feeds on the fibre from your food and this produces certain acids to help keep your digestive tract healthy and thriving. 

A good probiotic daily can help in keeping your good bacteria growing.  Fermented foods are another good source of good bacteria.  Eating fibre from fruits, vegetables and salads will greatly benefit your gut garden and keep it blooming with less weeds to cause disruption.

Make sure you have enough hydrochloric acid (HCL) to start the digestion process in your stomach. 

Your stomach contains stomach acid called hydrochloric acid (HCL).  The stomach is meant to be acidic so it can kill off any bacteria from the food you have eaten and start to break apart the protein you have eaten by the enzyme called pepsin.  Carbohydrates are further broken down in the stomach but no fat is digested in the stomach.   Your stomach also produces intrinsic factor to help produce and absorb Vitamin B12 from what you eat.

What can go wrong in the stomach is that you do not have enough stomach acid to break down food properly.  The food is not broken down well and you won’t be getting all the nutrition from those foods either.  These food particles are passed through the digestive system and fermented by your gut flora to cause gas and bloating, constipation or diarrhea.  It can also contribute to food sensitivities. 

The food particles that are fermented can create a bacterial overgrowth that can lead to SIBO (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth) and the overgrowth of candida.

Symptoms of low stomach acid are – acid reflux or upper abdominal discomfort including the symptoms I mentioned above. 

You can increase your levels of stomach acid by making a few changes to your diet and by taking a few herbs and supplements to help raise up levels. 

I would recommend that you stop eating meat for a while until your stomach acid levels are improved.  This will help your digestion because meat is hard to break down.

I have written a book about acid reflux which gives lots of advice on how to raise up stomach acid levels.  You can download it here – http://bit.ly/2MpWGe7

WHAT CAN HELP THE DIGESTION PROCESS ALONG AND STRENGTHEN THE DIGESTIVE TRACT?

Lemon or lime juice put onto your food can help with easier digestion.

Apple cider vinegar.  You can drink this before you eat to help with production of stomach acid.  Take 1 tsp before you eat or dilute it in a bit of water if you don’t like the taste.

Grating ginger root onto your food.

You can make a ginger pickle with the juice of a lemon and adding a large chunk of chopped up ginger.  Chew on this pickle before eating for a few minutes and then spit it out.

Eat a small salad before a cooked meal or an apple as the enzymes in the raw food can kick start the digestion process. 

Peppermint or spearmint drank after a meal.  I like Clipper after dinner tea. 

WHY IS HORMONE REPLACEMENT NOT WORKING FOR ME?

WHY IS HORMONE REPLACEMENT NOT WORKING FOR ME?

HRT means hormone replacement therapy.

BHRT means bio identical hormone replacement therapy.

What is the difference between each one?

HRT is a synthetic version of hormone replacement which is not identical to what your body makes.  Your body will see this and treat it as foreign.  It could give you some unpleasant side effects or may not work very efficiently.

BHRT is identical to what your body makes and your body will welcome this in and recognise it well.  It will work more efficiently with little to no side effects.

How many of you thought that by taking HRT, it would be the answer to stopping your symptoms?

You have been taking some form of HRT or BHRT but your symptoms have not gone away and maybe have got worse.

Hormone replacement may not work for you because there are other things going on in your body that need to be addressed first. 

No-one will tell you this, so it is not your fault.  Once you know what you can do to make successful changes, you will be able to do it and get better results with less side effects.

The symptoms of perimenopause and menopause can be because of one or two reasons.

Your hormone levels are dropping too low.

Your hormones are out of balance with each other as one of them drops really low too fast and the other one stays high causing a lot of symptoms.

Your body has to bring your hormones back into balance.

HOW YOUR BODY DOES THIS:

Make more of the hormones that have dropped too low.

Get rid of some of the hormones that have stayed at a high level causing an imbalance.

Your body has to recognise what is happening, send out the right signals so your body can make more of what is out of balance or get rid of what is in excess. 

YOUR BODY CAN THEN DO THIS:

Make more hormones and use them properly

Get rid of extra hormones

Send out the right signals at the right times

WHEN YOU TAKE HORMONE REPLACEMENT

You are giving your body hormones that are already made, so it can use them straightaway to boost up your levels that are too low. 

If your body is not aware of this and it is not sending out the right signals, it doesn’t know what to do with the extra hormones. 

If your body does not have the building blocks in place to use these hormones, they will not work.

If your body cannot direct the extra hormones in the right way with these building blocks, you won’t get any relief from your symptoms. 

THE EXTRA HORMONES YOU NEED TO GET RID OF

The hormone replacement builds up the low ones but doesn’t get rid of the high ones. 

This can lead to a build up of hormones in your body that it does not know how to handle properly.  You body needs to know how to eliminate the extra hormones effectively from your body.  If you are experiencing side effects from hormone replacement, your body is not working correctly and hormones are floating around your body not knowing where to go and how to help you.  This is why it’s important that your body is detoxing out the extra hormones to avoid side effects from hormone replacement. 

HOW CAN YOU GET YOUR BODY TO DETOX THE EXTRA HORMONES?

To reduce side effects from hormone replacement, your body wants to :-

Send out the right signals

Be able to detox well

Support your hormone replacement with the right diet, healthy bowel movements every day and a healthy liver function.

Fibre from fruits and vegetables will really help.

If you need some liver support, there are foods and herbs to help with this.

GIVE YOUR BODY THE BUILDING BLOCKS

Foods to include – fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and healthy fats.  These will give your body what it needs to make use of new hormones. 

A healthy blood sugar level will also help your body to receive the right signals at the right times.

This can be achieved by stopping the refined sugars and processed foods in your diet.

HORMONE REPLACEMENT – WHAT IS IT AND WHAT IS AVAILABLE?

HORMONE REPLACEMENT - WHAT IS IT AND WHAT IS AVAILABLE?

Are you scared of HRT? 

Do you associate HRT with an added risk of cancer and heart disease etc?

HRT has come a long way and there are lots of good options available now.

There are a couple of options:-

BHRT

Bio identical hormone replacement therapy.  This means that it is more suited to the molecules that your body makes and will bind to the receptor site more easily and produce fewer side effects. 

Bio identical HRT contains estradiol which is the estrogen more prominent in your menstruation years.

SYNTHETIC HRT

Synthetic hormone replacement is not identical to what your body makes naturally.  It may not work very well on the receptor site or block the receptor altogether and produce some unpleasant side effects. 

There are two types of HRT – Estrogen Hormone Replacement Therapy or Combined Hormone Replacement Therapy (estrogen and progesterone)

In certain circumstances, some women may need a boost and decide to take hormone replacement but it is possible to control symptoms with diet, supplements, herbs and lifestyle without the need for hormone replacement. 

Women who go into menopause prematurely, aged 45 or younger or a women who has had a total hysterectomy would benefit from taking hormone replacement.

For these women, menopause can come on very quickly and so BHRT may be offered.  Also a women who is suffering from very bad depression would also benefit, even for a short time until symptoms can be alleviated. 

It is also important to know if you have a uterus or not when considering hormone replacement.  If you don’t have a uterus, then you don’t need to take progesterone with estrogen. 

If you still have your uterus, you should never take estrogen without progesterone because that will make your uterine lining thicker.  This is because estrogen thickens the lining of your uterus, so if you do not take progesterone along with estrogen, you are at risk of developing uterine cancer.  Progesterone will help to keep the lining thin and reduce the risk of uterine cancer.

When deciding on what is best for you, you need to take into consideration your health risks such as breast or uterine cancer, blood clots, heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure and liver health.  You can discuss this with your doctor or gynaecologist.

Taking HRT would not be suitable for women who are suffering with unexplained vaginal bleeding, chronic liver disease, risk of blood clots, have cancer dependent on estrogen or worsened by estrogen.  You can talk to your doctor or gynaecologist about these risks.

This is why it is so important to discuss all options with your doctor or gynaecologist to get the best one to suit you.  You can start off with a low dose and go from there with regular checks to make sure your hormone levels stay balanced.

WHAT HORMONE REPLACEMENT IS AVAILABLE?

SYNTHETIC HORMONE REPLACEMENT

There are pills, skin patches, gels and creams, vagina rings, vagina creams and vagina tablets.  I know, that IS a lot to choose from!

ESTROGEN PILLS

They are more readily available.  They contain Premarin and is the most popular form of estrogen.  This is made from pregnant mare’s urine and contains all the 3 types of estrogens.

The pills have to go through your digestive tract and also through your liver.  This puts you at risk for blood clots more than other forms of estrogen.  Also dosages have to be higher because of risk of loss through the digestion.  

SKIN PATCH

The skin patch is transdermal which means it is absorbed through the skin.  You stick it onto your abdomen, your but or your thigh, anywhere there is the most fat! 

You can control the dosage much better with no harmful effects on your liver.  It lowers your triglycerides to lower the risk of blood clots.  They can sometimes be a bit tricky to keep them stuck to your skin.  The patch may cause some irritation on your skin, so may not be the best option if you have sensitive skin.  There is a reduced risk of breast cancer, heart disease and stroke.

GELS

Gels usually come in a pump dispenser which you pump once and wipe it onto your skin.  The more skin you cover when you spread it the better the absorption.  It doesn’t matter which part of your skin you put it on.  Again, the gel doesn’t go through your liver. 

Also, make sure you don’t have a wash after you apply it.  It needs time to sink in first.  Don’t put gel onto your breasts though or inside your vagina.  The gel could increase your good fats, cause less blood clots and has no skin irritation like the patch. 

LOTION, CREAM OR SPRAY

These are similar to the gel with how you use it and also the advantages are the same.  The cream or lotion has a pump bottle and pumps out the exact amount to use each time.  The spray has a plastic container which covers your skin, press it so it sprays onto your skin and not anywhere else.

VAGINAL RING – FEMRING

It is a round flexible ring.  You bend it and insert it into the vagina.  It fits around the inside of your vagina and you or your partner will not be able to feel it.  It distributes estrogen into your bloodstream and all over your body.  It can take care of your menopausal symptoms, prevents vaginal dryness and osteoporosis. 

You can leave it in for 3 months then change it.  There are different ones so if you just want estrogen in your vagina and not everywhere else, ask for that one. 

VAGINAL TABLETS – VAGIFEM

The tablets are like a tampon application.  It has a blue tube with the tablet at the end.  These are a lower dose than any pill – 25 mcg.  It does not raise the level of estrogen in your bloodstream.  It focuses on working in your vagina only.  It is an excellent choice for vaginal dryness.  It does not protect you against osteoperosis. 

VAGINAL CREAM

This is a tube of cream with a plastic inserter.  It’s thicker than a lotion.  It looks like a plunger which fills up with cream when you press the tube.  There are dosages on the plunger so you get the correct dose you want.  You push the plunger all the way up inside your vagina to release the cream.  It is very good for vaginal dryness.  Like the vaginal ring it goes into your bloodstream buts it’s very unpredictable and you might need other support.  It’s a higher dose than the vaginal tablet.  Start using it every day at first until your vagina is more happy then twice a week.  It is like the femring, but the femring is better for getting into your bloodstream and controlling symptoms. 

The vaginal options are just estrogen only so you need to get a progesterone cream to take with it if you still have your uterus.

The patch, gel, creams and vaginal estrogens have a lower dosage and a lower risk of stroke, blood clots, cancer and heart disease.

Please bear in mind though that there are other things that put you at risk of these diseases too such as diet, stress and lifestyle, if you smoke and drink alcohol, not just by taking hormone replacement.  These also play a big part in reducing your risks. 

HOW DO YOU START?

Start by trying out what can work best for you and discuss your medical history and risks with a gynaecologist or doctor. 

You can get pharmaceutical bio identical estrogen by prescription.

TEST YOUR HORMONE LEVELS

To test your hormone levels, the best test is the saliva test.  It gives better results than a blood test for hormone levels. 

If you want to buy your own hormone replacement creams, please look for the purest quality, not soy based and check it is FDA approved or you trust the seller.

Many medical organizations and societies agree against the use of custom-compounded hormone therapy for menopause management, particularly given concerns regarding content, purity, and safety labeling of compounded hormone therapy formulations.

HERE IS A QUOTE FROM THE MENOPAUSE.ORG WEBSITE ABOUT HORMONE REPLACEMENT

Although the risks of blood clots and strokes increase with either type of hormone therapy, the risk is rare in the 50 to 59 age group.

An increased risk in breast cancer is seen with 5 or more years of continuous estrogen/progestogen therapy, possibly earlier.  The risk decreases after hormone therapy is stopped.  Use of estrogen alone for an average of 7 years in the Women’s Health Initiative trial did not increase the risk of breast cancer.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Hormone therapy is an acceptable option for the relatively young (up to age 59 or within 10 years of menopause) and healthy women who are bothered by moderate to severe menopausal symptoms. 

Every women’s health is different and must be taken into consideration before deciding to use hormone therapy. 

Consideration should be given quality of life priorities as well as your personal risk factors such as age, time since menopause, and your risk of blood clots, heart disease, stroke, and breast cancer.