Resveratrol and Weight Loss

August 28, 2010 by Terri  
Filed under Weight Management

Resveratrol Antioxidants and Weight Loss: A Good Pairing? The golden rule in weight loss is pretty simple: take in fewer calories than you expend in exercise. However, as any dieter will tell you, it’s far from easy. Americans spend billions of dollars a year on weight loss supplements, exercise programs and other diet aids—and still we can’t seem to win the battle of the bulge—even when we get desperate enough to try risky surgery or fad diets.

Recently a new product has come to light that may help people trying to lose weight stay on the healthy end of the spectrum: Resveratrol Select, which is unlike many diet supplements in that it uses a combination of natural and herbal ingredients designed to help the body stay healthy while losing weight. How?  By mimicking certain aspects of the Mediterranean diet. Studies have shown that part of America’s war with weight lies in the uniquely modern American combination of stressful lifestyle and fast-food consumption, and that the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle seem to be more conducive to healthier weight levels and longevity. In fact, much as been made on the news in recent months of the purported “French Paradox,” (how the French eat a high-fat diet, enjoy rich desserts, drink wine and still have better cardiovascular health than the rest of us).  One of the biggest differences between the American and French diet seems to be the wine consumption, and red wine (a staple on most Mediterranean tables) contains one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants, resveratrol, which is a key ingredient in Resveratrol Select.

In addition to wine, resveratrol is also found in grape skins, blueberries, cranberries and other plants, and recent animal and in vitro studies indicate that it can have a positive effect on helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, supporting insulin health and optimizing metabolic and immune pathways that protect cells and improve mitochondrial function.  One capsule of Resveratrol Select includes as much resveratrol as 200 glasses of wine—without the added calories that alcohol can add to the waistline.But consuming resveratrol alone isn’t enough to help with weight loss—so the manufacturers of Resveratrol Select also added a different type of antioxidant, Green Tea Extract (EGCG), which could make a big difference. Over time, green tea consumption helps increase metabolism, burn fat and reduce fat storage due to its caffeine and L-theanin content, which can be pivotal in helping to maintain energy for exercise.  Resveratrol Select combines these two powerful antioxidants with yet another energy boosting ingredient, Chromium, a niacin-based mineral that plays an important role in how the body uses insulin to burn sugars, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for energy.

Although relatively new to the market, Resveratrol Select seems to be making a big splash, and many people are taking advantage of the free trial offer to see how well the product works for them. The trial offer also includes two bonus tools to help with weight loss: an e-book with over 70 weight loss tips, and a weight loss visualization audio. Of course, consuming fewer calories while burning more is the most efficient form of weight loss, and it’s always a good idea to inform your doctor before taking a weight loss supplement, but this new combination herbal supplement is worth a look for those concerned about maintaining good health while losing weight.

For more information on Resveratrol Select’s free trial offer and bonus materials, visit http://www.resveratrolselect.com.

How Much Soy is Too Much Soy?

July 3, 2010 by Terri  
Filed under Thyroid

While deep-pocketed soy marketers cook up even more ways to ingest the bean, there is, unfortunately, little data as what constitutes an appropriate level of soy intake. Soy Online Service cautions that even 30 milligrams of soy isoflavones a day can wreak havoc on the body’s hormonal balance. It advises anyone with a predisposition to thyroid dysfunction to be particularly careful. If, indeed, the Asian diet is one to be emulated, then why not use soy the way they have for thousands of years: in moderation.

Thirty milligrams of soy isoflavones can be found in:

  • 7 ounces of soybeans
  • 4 ounces of tofu
  • 8 ounces of soy milk
  • 1.6 ounces of miso
  • 2.8 ounces of soybean sprouts

> Read the full article by Dr. Gillespie

A Holistic Approach to a Thyroid Problem

April 13, 2010 by Terri  
Filed under Thyroid

One of the most common forms of thyroid problem is hypothyroidism or an under active thyroid gland. The most prevalent form of hypothyroidism is Thyroiditis or Hashimoto’s Disease, an auto immune disease affecting the thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism can also be caused by a thyroid gland that is inflamed or sluggish. Thyroid problems can be due to iodine deficiency, an after effect of surgery or medication, or dysfunction of the pituitary gland.  There are various herbs and natural remedies available that are believed to actively treat a thyroid problem.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism:

  • Weight gain, especially if the pounds pile on quickly and are almost impossible to remove.
  • Dry and rough skin.
  • Dry and coarse hair.
  • Constant fatigue.
  • There could also be memory loss, cramps and constipation.

All of these symptoms or just a few can be present, which means diagnosis of a thyroid problem by your physician is highly recommended.

A blood test for levels of thyroid hormones TSH and T4 is the most precise (but not necessarily VERY precise) way to diagnose a health problem.  What may be a “normal” thyroid level for one person may not be normal for another.  Thyroid problems can appear in someone who has the same levels as someone else who seems perfectly fine. The range of thyroid levels considered normal is quite wide, and can also depend on a particular lab report.  Nevertheless, a blood test remains the best way to diagnose a thyroid health problem, such as hypothyroidism.

Conventional treatments for thyroid conditions included synthetic thyroid hormones.  These treatments can often very from person to person, making it a hit or miss situation with constant monitoring needed as to how drug levels are affecting the condition.  Ideally, the goal is to change thyroid hormone levels in order to treat causes of the thyroid problem, rather than just temporarily relieve the symptoms.

The  best way to maintain your thyroid for optimum health is by taking a holistic approach to nutrition.

  • Eliminate white flour (don’t be fooled by “wheat flour” as the first ingredient listed on the label; Wheat flour is really white flour), sugar, processed foods, and stimulants like alcohol, tea and coffee.
  • Food with additives and preservatives should be avoided.
  • Increase your intake of nutrient-dense foods such as dark leafy/green vegetables.  Plants contain three classes of micronutrients that are critical for optimal health: vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.   Phytochemicals are not “optional,” they are Essential in immune system defenses.

Strive for a plant-based diet that is rich in colorful vegetables and fruits. If at all possible, try not to buy ANY food product that has a label on it.

Is Your Weight Loss Canary Suffering?

April 12, 2010 by Terri  
Filed under Thyroid

There’s no doubt that thyroid disease is on the rise. Now the question is why?

The reason your weight loss attempts might not be working is because your weight loss canary might be suffering…let me explain.

From the research I’ve reviewed and the patients I’ve seen in the last 20 years, it’s clear to me that the thyroid gland is your body’s own yellow canary. It’s sensitive to many different influences—your diet, your lifestyle, and the world around you. And all of these influences can affect how well your thyroid functions.

Remember how miners used to detect toxic methane gas and carbon monoxide? They sent bright yellow canaries into the mines. Canaries are highly sensitive to these gasses—so much so that they die when exposed to them. Their deaths served as a warning system for miners so they do not enter and become exposed to poisonous air.

So, it’s not surprising that as we eat more toxic foods and are increasingly exposed to pollution, petrochemical and industrial wastes, and heavy metals that thyroid problems have also skyrocketed. In fact, more than 20 percent of women and 10 percent of men in the United States have thyroid dysfunctions—and half of them don’t even know it!

But exactly how does your environment affect your thyroid?

We now have substantial research to demonstrate that environmental chemicals have a direct impact on the thyroid gland. It’s clear that PCBs and other industrial petrochemical toxins can lower thyroid function, as well as other pollutants such as chlorine, fluoride, and bromide.

Since the thyroid produces hormones that manage your metabolism, anything that affects your thyroid will ultimately affect your metabolism. In fact, there’s evidence that toxins boost the excretion of thyroid hormones, leaving you with less of this hormone to control your metabolism—and a decreased ability to burn fat.

The truth is, your thyroid plays a huge role in weight control, and in determining your metabolic rate.

The question is not if, but how much is today’s obesity epidemic linked to the harmful effects of environmental toxins on metabolism.

I’ve seen so many patients struggle with their weight, only to have the pounds melt off when we addressed their thyroid problems.

True, not everyone’s weight problems are caused by thyroid dysfunction—but if you’re overweight, you should consider the connection. That’s why the best medical doctors always check their patients’ thyroid functions and will consider all the possible causes of subtle thyroid imbalance, including toxins, food allergies, nutritional deficiencies, and stress.

Now let’s talk about some of those other factors.

For example, food allergies, like sensitivities to gluten and other foods, also negatively affect thyroid function—and are frequently undiagnosed. Likewise, deficiencies in nutrients important to good thyroid function—like selenium, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids. and iodine and tyrosine—can also trigger thyroid problems.

With all of these factors that can affect your thyroid, it’s clear that we need a new approach to the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disease. Many doctors can miss the subtle signs of thyroid problems, and conventional medicine often treats low thyroid function with inadequate, one-size-fits-all drugs like Synthroid.

However, thyroid dysfunction requires a more personalized, integrative approach—one that you can help control by becoming an active partner in your care. First, keep an eye out for the symptoms of a low thyroid function, including:

fatigue
• sluggishness
• trouble getting up in the morning
• depression
• dry skin
• dry hair
• constipation
• fluid retention
• menstrual problems and PMS
• hair loss
• cracked or chipping fingernails
• low sex drive
weight gain
• muscle aches
• cramps

Yes, a lot of those symptoms are pretty common and vague—which is one reason why thyroid dysfunction often goes undetected. But if you notice any of these signs, bring them to your doctor’s attention, and ask him or her to test your thyroid function.

If you are diagnosed with low thyroid function, the following steps recommended:

Remember, thyroid hormone is the master metabolism hormone. If your thyroid is out of balance, your metabolism is out of balance, too.

Do you have a dysfunctional thyroid?

Know that the problem can be fixed. By following the program here you can get your thyroid working properly, keep your weight under control and start feeling better today.

About the author…

Mark Hyman, MD is author of UltraMetabolism — The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss. In this ground-breaking book, Dr. Hyman, for the first time ever, identifies the 7 metabolic keys to weight loss and delivers a blueprint for how you can ignite the fat burning code hidden in your DNA. To download free sneak preview of UltraMetabolism, go to: http://www.ultrametabolism.com

Alternative Therapies For Allergies

March 28, 2010 by Terri  
Filed under Allergies, alternative therapies

According to various experts, this is supposed to be one of the worst allergy seasons in recent years. “We had a perfect storm this year,” said Dr. William Storms, professor at the University of Colorado and a clinician. “It’s the worst I’ve seen in 10 years.”

Many people suffer from some form of allergy or another and the reaction can range from mild to serious. Alternative therapies provide a number of options that can be very effective on allergies.

Medicinal Herbs are one of the most effective treatments for allergies and are often recommended based on your particular allergy symptoms, and what’s causing your allergy.  Since these are “medicinal” it’s a good idea to consult a herbalist to discuss your allergy and have him/her select the ones that will work best for you.  For those sudden allergy attacks, one homeopathic remedy that has been purported to give immediate relief is SOS HistaDrops™.

For some people changes in diet can have a significant effect on their allergy. For example, some people who have hay fever have found that eating local honey before the spring season begins helps to significantly reduce the symptoms  of hay fever.

Acupuncture, Ayurveda, and Chiropractic are other alternative therapies that have provided effective relief from allergies.  Some will reduce the reaction or completely resolve an allergy.

Whichever alternative therapy you decide to use, make sure you’ve done your research so that you will know the risks and rewards, and will know which therapist can help you.  The  therapist you select should have experience in treating allergies and also a client list that you can contact to get feedback. If you are concerned about how the treatment could interfere with any conventional medicine you are taking you should also consult your doctor to ensure you are safe.

FEATURED VIDEO

Expert: Heather Herrington
Bio: Heather Herrington is an herbalist with years of experience in treating common ailments with herbs and other natural remedies.

Thyroid Disease, a Naturopathic Answer

March 23, 2010 by Terri  
Filed under Thyroid

Thyroid disease, malfunctions of the thyroid gland, hyperthyroid (overactive) or hypothyroid (underactive) are showing signs in our population of becoming an epidemic says a “The Colorado Thyroid Disease Prevalence Study.” This is a trend across the board in American health, where we are seeing many common diseases moving to an epidemic stage. You name a disease and it is probably an epidemic or moving toward becoming an epidemic like thyroid disease.

Why do we have this problem? Well, as a naturopath I say look at the basics, we are violating just about every natural law in how we take care of ourselves and our environment. But for you who have thyroid disease, solving your problem is the most important priority right now. I will be frank with you; the drug industry does not have a realistic answer to your problem. Drugs can be a way to stabilize your situation temporarily but to use those drugs does not address the root of the problem only the symptoms. Through your thyroid disease, your body is saying something is wrong with the way you are living. If you only address this disease signal your body is sending you with drugs, without addressing the real cause, it will breakout again as another disease and so on.

To get back to basics, take a look at an article I wrote titled “You Are Sick and You Need Help Now,”  also read “I am an omnivore, we are all omnivores.”  These articles will give you some real solid basic health suggestions and common sense knowledge that, when put into practice, begin to address those needs your body has. When you give your body what it needs, the whole body begins to normalize and all your organs begin to run like they were designed to. When they do that, even genetically weak organs begin to move toward normal function. I ask that you give these suggestions a fair shake of at least 3 months of diligent work. Remember it took years of abuse to develop thyroid disease, it is not going to be solved with a few good meals, you have to work with this. You will see changes just as I did. Read my biography. I had cancer, a genetic weakness, and many genetic problems all served up by an American life style. I really thought I led a healthy life until I was taught better by my sicknesses. If I had not changed my life, like I am asking you to do, I would be dead like my father and grandfather. As I have repeated over and over to students, “I have not drawn a sick breath since that time 18 years ago when I cured my cancer.”

While you are establishing a healthy foundation for your body there are herbs, vitamins and minerals listed below that can assist you with your thyroid issues. Also I would encourage you to take up a hatha yoga routine that includes the inverted postures (simple inverted, shoulder stand, and plow poses). These powerful yoga postures are known to cleanse and stimulate the thyroid gland to balance itself while encourage a balancing of all hormones.

The kind of Ingredients you should seek for thyroid disease.

Below are listed some of many foods that can assist the body when it is suffering from this disease. Some of these foods have a reputation for their thyroid remedial power. Why is it important that the ingredients in the herbal formulas you take be from food? Why couldn’t they be from chemicals? Scientists would like to think that we can treat our bodies with chemicals, that chemical medicines will cure us. But that has never happened and it never will; that is why there are always dangerous side effects. This is just plain common sense; our bodies do not recognize chemicals because they are not from nature. Below are simple natural food complexes which have been shown to be better for our internal human environment. Our forefather’s and mother’s have been using some of these same ingredients for thousands of years with no ill effects.

Why so many different ingredients? This is also just plain common sense as are all nature healing remedies and philosophies. Every single ingredient we are suggesting will all encourage a positive result in your body. But our bodies are uniquely individual and what will encourage dramatic healing results for you might not be as beneficial for someone else with thyroid disease. So we suggest many herbal foods combined together to create a healing synergy that will fit with each unique individual. Again this is common sense when you are given the simple answer.

Chemicals can react against each other causing side effects while foods tend to work together; we all know that.

Food Nutrients for the Thyroid

Listed below is information on different food complexes that assist the thyroid to regain balance and function. This information was compiled by Doctor Robert Thiel, N.H.D. who also holds a Ph.D. in nutrition science; he heads the research group at Doctors’ Research. Adrenal glandulars are a Food which has been used for decades by nutrition-oriented doctors when adrenal concerns are suspected. The adrenal glands help the body deal with stress, but high stress weakens the adrenal glands. Fatigue and metabolic problems are common symptoms of adrenal insufficiency. It should be noted that it is well accepted that hypoadrenalism results in  increasing the frequency of hypoglycemia as well as  hypothyroidism. Salt craving is a common symptom of hypoadrenalism; it can also be involved in hypothyroidism. The adrenal cortex produces the hormone cortisol which helps control organic metabolism and responses to stress.

Alfalfa is believed by some herbalists have a beneficial effect on the pituitary gland and helps in chemical imbalance, neutralizes uric acid for arthritis, and is useful as a Food to prevent cholesterol accumulation in the veins; this last point is supported by several animal studies.

Brown Kelp is a Food source of trace minerals, and an excellent source of iodine. Kelp has long been used (since 3000 B.C.) to provide nutritional support for the thyroid gland. Gary Null, Ph.D., has written, “Kelp can rebalance thyroid metabolism, resulting in successful weight management and the reversal of many conditions which are caused by a thyroid imbalance, including stomach and respiratory disorders.”

Burdock is believed by some to be helpful in fortifying the immune system. It has several historical uses including helping with skin disorders; particularly when they are caused by a system imbalance. It stimulates the digestive juices and bile secretion and therefore is useful in treating anorexia nervosa and digestion and appetite problems. Some believe, in addition to helping with digestive concerns, burdock aids the pituitary gland to help adjust hormone balance. Burdock has sometimes been recommended for thyroid health.

Carrots contain a variety of carotenoids, which is a vitamin A precursor. Low levels of vitamin A are associated with increased risk of thyroid goiters and deficiencies affect thyroid metabolism.  A decade-long Harvard study indicated that by getting 50 milligrams of carotenoids in every other day significantly reduced the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and cataracts.

Copper is a mineral which, in proper dosages, is essential to the human body.

Irish Moss Chondrus crispus contains humic and fulvic acids (FAs) which increase the solubility of toxic metals, thus it is sometimes used to detoxify. Detoxification can be an issue with thyroid health as some believe that substances like chloride and fluoride can bind with the thyroid and interfere with iodine absorption.

Rice bran is a Food source of B vitamins, which are often used for stress and anxiety.

Scullcap (also spelled “skullcap”) is a member of the mint family and is often used as a tonic for female weakness.

Selenium seems to support thyroid hormone production, function as part of many enzymes, have antioxidant effects, and supports cardiovascular health. Food selenium is about twice as well retained than non-food selenium.

For additional information and full article, visit the Author’s Website.
NOTE: This article was contributed by Paul Blake, and condensed down from its original length.

Paul Blake is a doctor of herbal medicine and a master herbalist. He used naturopathic medicine to treat his own case of cancer eighteen years ago. Visit Paul’s website on Herbal Remedies, Natural Healing Herbs for more interesting information on improving your health.

Alternative Therapies for Fibromyalgia

March 18, 2010 by Terri  
Filed under Fibromyalgia

Alternative Therapies for Fibromyalgia: Myofascial Release and Massage
Contributed by Erica Thompson
There are many alternative therapies for Fibromyalgia and each individual may be affected differently by each therapy.  A therapy that works well for one may not benefit another as much or at all.  It is important to know what is available to you that can help better your quality of life and help you manage your pain.

I have tried several different therapies and there are a few that really helped and one in particular, was a life-saver!  My hope is that you can find a therapy that you can add to your conventional treatment and gain freedom of movement and freedom from the stress and depression that are caused by Fibromyalgia.

Integrative Medicine:  The idea was developed to help medical and other health professionals to expand their practices by and integrating accessible effective Complementary/Alternative Medicine (CAM) protocols for the treatment of their patients. This would bring patients more complete care and give them all the help that is available to improve their overall health. Some of the therapies included are:  Energy Therapies (including CMU Technology), Herbs and Supplements, Nutrition, Lifestyle Strategies, Biochemical Approaches and Structural, Movement and Mind-Body Therapies.

In this article, I will cover two structural, movement and mind-body therapies:  Myofascial Release Therapy & Massage Therapy.

Massage therapy helps with Fibromyalgia because it gently works on the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, fascia and ligaments). Massage increases circulation of blood to tight, sore muscles & increases muscle tone. It is sometimes used in conjunction with ultrasound or with the application of heat and/or cold packs. Massage is also often helpful in removing built-up toxins such as lactic acid, and to help re-educate muscles and joints that have become misaligned.

Massage also helps the movement of lymphatic fluid (removes body wastes, toxins, pathogens), to release muscular tension, maintain proper musculoskeletal structure and function, internal organs, the central nervous system, the immune system, the endocrine system, mind/body integration, and energy flow to promote healing and emotional well-being.

Myofascial Release is a very effective hands-on technique that provides sustained pressure into myofascial knots to eliminate pain and restore motion.  To understand what Myofascial Release is and why it works, you need to know what fascia is. Fascia is a thin tissue that covers all the organs of the body. It is actually one structure that exists from head to foot without disconnection.  Myofascial Release treats taut bands in the muscle by releasing the uneven tightness in injured fascia. I was treated with the John Barnes method of Myofascial Release after a car accident that inflamed my Fibromyalgia symptoms and led to the discovery of myofascial trigger points.  Even if you do not have Chronic Myofascial Pain, you can still benefit greatly from this therapy.

There are many more alternative therapy options out there and I will continue to provide information about them in hopes of giving you and your doctor the ability to make an informed decision about what therapies might work for you.

Erica Thompson is a 40-year-old, Stay-at-Home mom with 3 children and a husband in the military. She was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 1995, but suffered from it many years prior to diagnosis and later, diagnosed with Chronic Myofascial Pain, IBS, RLS, migraine & more. She has done extensive research and is an expert based on her own experience, her mother’s and her grandmother’s. Her goal is to help chronic pain sufferers.

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