Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Sleeping Pills are NOT Safe for Anyone

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Sleeping Pills are not safe for anyone!

 

sleeping.jpg

 

Sleeping pills are not safe for anyone! Not for people with congestive heart failure (CHF), Blood Pressure or any cardiac problems and not for healthy adults with insomnia. We are not talking about minor issues; we’re talking about problems leading to hospital re-admissions, death, or an increased risk for developing cancer!

According to information presented in May of 2016 at the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology in Athens, Greece, the risk for a major cardiac event in patients discharged from the hospital with CHF is increased 8 fold. And, because patients with CHF often have insomnia, they are usually given prescriptions for sleeping pills!

In another article published in the February 2015 issue of the British Medical Journal, adults using sleeping pills that included Restoril, Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata, and some antihistamines such as Benadryl, had a 3 fold increased risk for early death and a 35% increased risk for developing cancer. Wow! People using as little as 1-2 sleeping pills per month had a 360% increase in these risks and those taking just one pill every 3 nights had a 530% increase in these risks.

This points out how important it is to find out why someone is not sleeping and to treat the cause rather than just suppressing the symptoms of insomnia.

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Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Does Ibuprofen Interfere With Male Fertility?

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Does Ibuprofen Interfere With Male Fertility?

Is it true that taking ibuprofen can lead to infertility in men?

 motrin

Ibuprofen is available over-the-counter, and in products like Advil and Motrin used to relieve pain. Some new evidence suggests that taking the maximum recommended dose of these medications daily for as little as two weeks can lead to hormonal changes that are unusual in young men but are more likely to develop – if at all – in midlife. In January 2018, a French and Danish research team published results of a small study showing that taking 1,200 mg of ibuprofen per day in two 600 mg doses can lead indirectly to decreased levels of testosterone and reduced fertility. The researchers noted that doctors often recommend that athletes take as much as twice that much to prevent or relieve pain.

For the study, the investigators recruited 31 volunteers between the ages of 18 and 35. They gave 14 of the young men two daily doses of 600 mg of ibuprofen and the others a placebo. Within two weeks, tests showed that a change in pituitary gland function resulted in decreased testosterone levels. This imbalance, known as “compensated hypogonadism,” is a condition linked to impaired fertility, depression and an increased risk for cardiovascular events, including heart failure and stroke. It is reversible in young men who stop taking ibuprofen after a short time, but it is not yet known whether the hormonal effects of taking this amount of ibuprofen long-term are reversible.

 

We know that a number of other drugs are harmful to the male reproductive system. They include opioids, antidepressants, antipsychotics, immune modulators and Tagamet, a non-prescription antacid. We also know from earlier studies that men are responsible for up to 30 percent of the infertility couples experience and that over the four decades between 1973 and 2011 there appears to have been a 52.4 percent drop in sperm concentration among men in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

 

Earlier, the French and Danish team had examined the effects of aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen on the health of pregnant women and found that all 3 of these drugs affected the testicles of male babies born to them, increasing the risk of congenital malformations.

Men probably don’t have to be concerned about the hormonal effects of ibuprofen unless they’re using the maximum recommended doses frequently.

 

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Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Krill Oil or Fish Oil

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

Krill Oil or Fish Oil

krilloilvs

Looking to shed a few pounds, improve your skin or keep your brain sharp? You may want to consider taking krill oil. High in both omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, the potential krill oil benefits are pretty impressive.

 

While I don’t personally consume krill oil, which comes from shellfish, as I follow a biblical diet, it has gained widespread popularity in recent years as a safe and healthy alternative to fish oil. The benefits of krill oil vs. fish oil are nearly identical, but krill oil is more bioavailable, more sustainable, and less likely to be contaminated by mercury or heavy metals.

 

So what is krill oil made from, how can it affect your health and should you be adding it to your daily routine? Let’s take a look.

 

What Is Krill Oil?

Krill oil is a supplement extracted from a species of Antarctic krill, which is a small, shrimp-like crustacean found in the Southern Ocean. Situated at the very bottom of the food chain, krill feed primarily on phytoplankton, or microscopic marine algae.

 

Krill oil contains a highly concentrated amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to an extensive list of health benefits, from reduced inflammation to a decreased risk of chronic disease. (1) In addition to omega-3 fatty acids, krill oil also contains phospholipid-derived fatty acids as well as astaxanthin, a potent carotenoid revered for its antioxidant properties.

 

Take a look at any of the glowing krill oil reviews online and you’ll soon see the powerful effect that this supplement can have on health. Krill oil benefits include everything from strengthening bones and joints to boosting brain health and more.

 

  1. Fights Inflammation

Acute inflammation is a normal immune response that can help protect your body against foreign invaders. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is thought to contribute to a range of health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. (2)

 

Krill oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids like docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. (3) According to one study out of the University of Tehran in Iran, supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids for just eight weeks was able to significantly reduce levels of inflammatory markers in the blood. (4) Krill oil also contains astaxanthin, a natural pigment that can help fight the free radicals that cause chronic inflammation.

 

In addition to lowering the risk of chronic disease, the anti-inflammatory properties of krill oil could have far-reaching benefits that extend to nearly every aspect of health, from slowing aging to protecting against certain autoimmune conditions.

 

  1. Improves Heart Health

Whether you’re looking to drop your cholesterol levels or simply keep your heart in tip-top shape, krill oil may be able to help. Krill oil is jam-packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to reduced inflammation, a decreased risk of heart disease and improvements in cardiovascular function. (5)

 

One 2015 study conducted at Danbury Hospital focused on measuring the krill oil benefits on heart health in people with diabetes. Researchers found that taking 1,000 milligrams of krill oil reduced several heart disease risk factors and even increased levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol. (6)

 

Meanwhile, other studies have shown that the omega-3 fatty acids found in krill oil can lower heart rate and blood pressure, decrease high triglycerides and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. (7) Clearly, the omega-3 content plays a huge role in krill oil benefits for the heart.

 

  1. Keeps Skin Glowing

From acne to dermatitis, inflammation is at the root of many common skin conditions. One of the top benefits of krill oil for skin health is its content of omega-3 fatty acids, which have the ability to ease inflammation and keep your skin glowing.

 

In one study out of South Korea, supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids was found to reduce inflammatory acne by an impressive 42 percent. (8) Another animal study published in the Journal of Medical Investigation also showed that DHA and EPA, two types of omega-3 fatty acids found in krill oil, were able to block the production of a specific molecule involved in inflammation, aiding in the treatment of conditions like atopic dermatitis. (9)

 

Krill oil also contains astaxanthin, which may help improve skin health even more. According to one study in 2009, oral supplementation paired with topical application of astaxanthin reduced age spots and wrinkles while improving skin texture and moisture content. (10)

 

  1. Benefits Brain Health

The brain-boosting benefits of omega-3 fatty acids have been well-documented. Omega-3 fatty acids are believed to help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety and even slow cognitive decline. (11, 12, 13) Some evidence has also found that omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial in the treatment of disorders like ADHD, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. (14, 15, 16)

 

There is less research on the cognitive effects of krill oil specifically, but several studies have turned up promising results. A 2013 animal study, for example, showed that krill oil enhanced cognition and exhibited antidepressant effects in rats. (17) Plus, another study showed that 12 weeks of supplementation with krill oil helped activate cognitive function in elderly men. (18)

 

  1. Supports Strong Bones and Joints

Aging can take a big toll on your body, especially in the bones and joints. Conditions like osteoporosis and arthritis become increasingly prevalent with age as you begin to lose bone density and cartilage, causing symptoms like pain, stiffness and an increased risk of fractures.

 

Some evidence suggests that the omega-3 fatty acids found in krill oil could help keep your bones and joints healthy and strong. Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids can help preserve bone density and reduce the inflammation that contributes to bone and joint pain. (19, 20) More research is needed to evaluate the effects of krill oil in particular on bone and joint health, but the omega-3 in krill oil benefits bone health.

 

  1. May Be Associated with Reduced Cancer Risk

As if you needed another reason to get in your daily dose of krill oil, some research shows that omega-3 fatty acids could be associated with a decreased risk of certain types of cancer.

 

In particular, studies have found that a higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids from supplementation or fish consumption may be associated with a reduced risk of prostate and breast cancer. (21, 22) A study published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention also found that higher consumption of omega-3 fatty acids was associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer. (23)

 

However, keep in mind that these studies show an association but don’t take into account other factors that may play a role. More research is needed to determine how krill oil and omega-3 fatty acid intake may directly affect cancer development.

 

  1. Aids in Weight Loss

 

Research shows that krill oil benefits weight loss, thanks to its omega-3 fatty acid content. In fact, studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids could help reduce appetite, kick up metabolism and rev up fat burning.

 

One study published in Appetite showed that consuming at least 1.3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids daily increased feelings of satiety up to two hours after a meal. (24) Other studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids can increase metabolism between 4 percent to 14 percent and amp up the amount of fat burned during exercise by up to 27 percent. (25, 26)

 

Krill Oil Dangers

The omega-3 fatty acids found in krill oil can slow blood clotting. If you take blood thinners like warfarin, discuss with your doctor before taking krill oil as it may interfere with the effectiveness of your medications. Additionally, you may need to discontinue taking krill oil at least two weeks before undergoing surgery to prevent adverse side effects.

 

If you’re allergic to crustaceans or seafood, you definitely want to skip krill oil. If you have a shellfish allergy, you should also hold off on taking krill oil until you talk to your doctor. Watch out for food allergy symptoms like abdominal pain, swelling, itching or hives, and report any adverse side effects to a trusted health care practitioner.

 

Common side effects of krill oil include heartburn, nausea, bad breath, indigestion, stomach discomfort, belching and a fishy aftertaste. These issues are especially common when you first start taking krill oil and decrease gradually over time. To minimize symptoms, opt for a high-quality, pharmaceutical grade krill oil, take it with a meal, start with a low dose and increase your intake slowly.

 

Krill Oil vs. Fish Oil

Both krill oil and fish oil are high in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, including EPA and DHA. Therefore, the benefits of krill oil vs. fish oil for cholesterol, arthritis, skin health and other conditions are pretty comparable.

 

The main benefit of krill oil over fish oil is its absorbability. In fact, a multitude of studies have compared the bioavailability of fish oil vs. krill oil over the years. One large review out of Norway, for instance, compiled the results of 14 studies and showed that the DHA and EPA found in krill oil was more bioavailable than fish oil. (27)

 

Additionally, krill oil contains the added bonus of astaxanthin, a carotenoid found in a variety of foods with powerful antioxidant properties. Also known as “the king of carotenoids,” astaxanthin’s ability to fight free radicals is estimated to be 6,000 times higher than vitamin C, 550 times greater than vitamin E and 40 times higher than beta-carotene. (28)

 

Krill oil is also believed to be more pure, with lower levels of mercury and heavy metals than fish oil. Because krill consume algae, they are much less likely to accumulate high amounts of these contaminants than other types of fish.

 

Finally, krill oil is considered a more sustainable source of omega-3 fatty acids than fish oil. This is because Antarctic krill are one of the most abundant animal species on Earth. Opting for krill oil instead of fish oil can help ensure that you’re not contributing to unsustainable and harmful practices like overfishing.

 

Where to Find and How to Use Krill Oil

Krill oil is widely available at most pharmacies, health food stores and online retailers, usually right next to the fish oil and other omega-3 fatty acid supplements.

 

Be sure to buy from a trusted, reputable brand, and look for supplements that contain a high amount of EPA and DHA with minimal fillers or added ingredients to make sure you get the best krill oil supplement. Popular brands include Nature Made krill oil, MegaRed krill oil and Viva Labs krill oil.

 

When starting out, begin with a lower dose of krill oil and increase your intake slowly over the next few days to assess your tolerance and minimize any potential negative side effects.

 

Taking krill oil with a meal can also help reduce some of the negative symptoms like belching or fishy aftertaste. You can take it at any time of the day, but many people prefer taking it first thing in the morning alongside a healthy breakfast.

 

Krill Oil Dosage

Wondering how much take if you’re looking to maximize krill oil benefits? Most studies use a krill oil dosage between 1,000–3,000 milligrams daily, although this amount can vary widely based on the amount of EPA and DHA present in your supplement.

 

In general, however, the majority of health organizations seem to agree that lower doses of 250–500 milligrams of combined EPA and DHA can be beneficial for most health conditions. Be sure to look closely at the label of your supplement to check how much EPA and DHA it contains; even if a supplement contains 1,000 milligrams of krill oil, the amount of EPA and DHA may be much lower.

 

Additionally, be sure to start with a lower dose and work your way up. Not only does this ensure that you’re able to tolerate krill oil, but it can also reduce the risk of unpleasant symptoms like belching and nausea.

 

Krill Oil Recipes

If you’d prefer to skip the supplement and get your omega-3 fatty acid fix straight from the source, there are plenty of omega-3 foods available. Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring, as well as nuts and seeds, are all loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

 

Here are a few recipes to help squeeze in your daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids:

 

Coconut Yogurt Chia Seed Smoothie Bowl

Sardine Fish Cakes

Zesty Turkey Salad with Beans and Walnuts

Flaxseed Keto Wraps

Teriyaki Baked Salmon

History

Commercial krill fishing dates back to the 1970s, and krill oil was originally approved as a nutraceutical supplement by the FDA nearly 20 years ago, in 1999. Still, krill oil has only gained traction in recent years as a sustainable alternative to fish oil.

 

Antarctic krill are one of the most abundant animal species on Earth, with scientists estimating that there are nearly 500 million tons found in the Southern Ocean. Female krill can lay up to 10,000 eggs at a time and can lay eggs several times each season.

 

Krill are also incredibly resilient. During the winter when food is scarce, they manage to find other food sources, like the algae that grows underneath the surface of the ice, on the ocean floor or even on other animals. In tough times, krill can survive up to 200 days without food.

 

However, krill are also an essential part of our ecological community. Because many other species depend on krill to survive, organizations like the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources help sustain the delicate balance of the ocean’s ecosystem by setting krill catch limits to prevent overfishing. (29)

 

Precautions

Despite the many krill oil benefits, it may not be for everyone. If you have an allergy to seafood or crustaceans, for example, you should not take krill oil.

 

Krill oil may slow blood clotting and could interfere with certain medications, including blood thinners. If you’re taking a medication like warfarin, talk to your doctor before starting krill oil supplementation.

 

When first starting out, krill oil can cause side effects like nausea, belching, bad breath and dyspepsia. Make sure you take a high-quality supplement, take your pills with food and increase your dosage slowly to reduce your risk of these symptoms.

 

Final Thoughts on Krill Oil Benefits

Krill oil is extracted from a species of Antarctic krill, a shrimp-like crustacean found in abundance throughout the Southern Ocean.

In addition to being loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, krill oil is also high in astaxanthin and phospholipid-derived fatty acids, which help provide a host of krill oil benefits.

Krill oil benefits include reduced inflammation; improvements in heart, skin and brain health; stronger bones and joints; and increased weight loss. It may also be associated with a lower risk of certain types of cancer.

Compared to fish oil, krill oil is more absorbable, less likely to be contaminated by heavy metals and considered to be more sustainable.

For best results, aim to get in between 250–500 milligrams of combined EPA and DHA daily, whether it’s from krill oil, fish oil or whole food sources.

 

If you need help with any of your personal healthcare needs, or you are suffering with a medical condition that you do not think is reversable, please give us a call.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Rachael Link

P Carrothers

Director of Personal Healthcare

Restorative and Preventative Medicine

312-972-9355

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Lifestyle, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Home Blood Pressure Monitors Unreliable

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

Home Blood Pressure Monitors Unreliable

 

Why using a Sphygmomanometers with a stethoscope is the only correct way

 

 

Bill Murray’s rumored to have said: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me 350,000 times — you’re a weatherman.”

 

That’s a lack of accuracy we often joke about, but for some things, being that far off the mark is more disturbing.

 

According to a recent Canadian study from the University of Alberta, home blood pressure monitors are 100 percent accurate only about 30 percent of the time.

 

That’s not good, the researchers point out, because high blood pressure is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the world.

 

In the small but revealing study of 85 people with high blood pressure, researchers identified what causes the problems with the readings.

 

Occasionally, it’s a person’s inability to run the device properly. It also can be the one-size-fits-all design; the same cuff is used for both men and women, but in the study men’s readings were more accurate. Arm shape and size can make the difference. You have just learned that men should use a different at home machine than women.  People with larger arms, and people with smaller arms will not get accurate readings.   What about the machine that fits around your wrist.  This is the most inaccurate of all of them. ( Dr. Michael Rosen )

bpmachine

You will get a higher reading if you are reclined, one must be sitting up in a straight back chair.   Are your ankles or legs crossed?   Are you wearing steel toe boots?  The weight of the boot will cause for an inaccurate reading.

People with high blood pressure can NEVER take cold and cough medication, unless it states it is good for HBP.

 

Nonetheless, if you have high blood pressure, it’s important to keep track of how it’s doing.

 

So how can you check the accuracy of your device?

 

First, bring your at-home monitor with you to your next doctor’s visit and check it against the doc’s machine. If the person that is taking your blood pressure is not wearing a stethoscope to listen to your blood pressure, it will be inaccurate, I don’t care what they tell you!

bpmachinestethOnly a stethoscope can give an accurate reading.

Insist they use a manual blood pressure machine, and then they can tell what your pulse path is, whether you have an arrythmia and even A-fib.  There are many things they can detect using a stethoscope.  Insist that your doctor takes your blood pressure if need be.

 

Second, have your pharmacist instruct you in proper usage, and then try it out right there. Almost all pharmacies now have stations, or technicians, where you can check your blood pressure also, but remember they are not accurate either.  But if you use the same machine each time, you will be able to tell if YOUR blood pressure is going up or down.

Your blood pressure machine needs to be re-calibrated yearly also.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr. A Sulllivan D.O. FACO

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Lifestyle, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Sunscreen Lotions are Killing You and Your Family

Health and WEllness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

Sunscreen Lotions are Killing You and Your Family

sunscreen

Compelling evidence: Slathering on toxic sunscreen and avoiding the sun could jeopardize your health and shorten your life

According to a June 2014 article featured in The Independent (UK), a major study conducted by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that women who avoid sunbathing during the summer are twice as likely to die as those who sunbathe every day.

The epidemiological study followed 30,000 women for over 20 years and “showed that mortality was about double in women who avoided sun exposure compared to the highest exposure group.”

Researchers concluded that the conventional dogma, which advises avoiding the sun at all costs and slathering on sunscreen to minimize sun exposure, is doing more harm than actual good.

That’s because overall sun avoidance combined with wearing sunscreen effectively blocks the body’s ability to produce vitamin D3 from the sun’s UVB rays, which is by far the best form of vitamin D.

In the USA, vitamin D deficiency is at epidemic levels. Ironically, vitamin D deficiency can lead to aggressive forms of skin cancer. A ground-breaking 2011 study published in Cancer Prevention Research suggests that optimal blood levels of vitamin D offers protection against sunburn and skin cancer.

Additionally, vitamin D protects the body from diseases like multiple sclerosis, rickets (in the young), tuberculosis, inflammatory bowel disease, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and Sjogren’s syndrome.

According to the Vitamin D Council, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham recently reported that “lack of sun exposure may lead to cognitive decline over time.”

Please call us for using Vitamin D correctly for YOU.  Everyone of us is different than everyone else, and you need a personal healthcare approach to your healthcare,

A dissident dermatologist

Bernard Ackerman, MD, (deceased 2008) was one of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject of skin cancer and the sun, sunscreens and melanoma skin cancer risks.

Below are Ackerman’s views excerpted from an article in The New York Times (July 20, 2004), titled “I BEG TO DIFFER; A Dermatologist Who’s Not Afraid to Sit on the Beach”:

The link between melanoma and sun exposure (dermatology’s dogma) is unproven.There’s no conclusive evidence that sunburns lead to cancer.There is no real proof that sunscreens protect against melanoma.There’s no proof that increased exposure to the sun increases the risk of melanoma.

A 2000 Swedish study concluded that higher rates of melanoma occurred in those who used sunscreen versus those who did not.

Sunscreens: Cancer-Causing Biohazards

Elizabeth Plourde, PhD, is a California-based scientist who authored the book Sunscreens – Biohazard: Treat as Hazardous Waste, which extensively documents the serious life-threatening dangers of sunscreens not only to people but to the environment as well.

Dr. Plourde provides proof that malignant melanoma and all other skin cancers increased significantly with ubiquitous sunscreen use over a 30-year period. She emphasizes that many sunscreens contain chemicals that are known carcinogens and endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC).

Environmentally, she notes: “In areas where there has been much exposure to ED [endocrine disrupting] chemicals, coral and other sea populations have died off and the prevalence of dual-sexed fish has risen.”

Dr. Plourde’s research on mice and sunscreen exposure also showed increases in both pup and maternal mortality as well as reproductive issues in subsequent generations.  Meaning that the chemicals in sunscreens are damaging your DNA, and you are passing down this DNA break to your children.  Many children who use sunscreen are developing life threatening diseases, and life long medical problems by the age of 30.

Additionally, the book documents how sunscreen chemicals have polluted our water sources including oceans, rivers and municipal drinking water. Worse yet, testing revealed that 97% of Americans have sunscreen chemicals in their blood!

Please share with family and loved ones.  If you have concerns about your personal healthcare, please call us.

 

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Foods, Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Lower Your Blood Pressure With Onions

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

Lower Your BP with Onions

onion-flower.jpg

Lower your Blood Pressure with a daily dose of onions.

In a Spanish study, eating 1/3 cup of onions daily, any kind of onions,

it cut patients blood pressure by 21% in five weeks. Onions are

rich in quercetin, a natural diuretic that lowers pressure by

flushing our excess fluids and salt. Many people stop eating onions

because of bad breath worries, but please put them back in your

diet and make sure any older people put them back in their diets

also, to avoid congestive heart problems.

One of the best combinations is onions and eggs.  There are two enzymes,

one from the onion and one from the eggs that in combination are super

powers!

 

If you are having any concerns, please call us and ask to set up a consultation.

Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr P Carrothers

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Lifestyle, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

How to Make Your Own Sunscreen

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

How To Make Your Own Sunscreen

Organic Lifestyle Magazine published an article exposing the ingredients commonly found in sunscreens, even going so far as to say that they have not found any ingredients in conventional sunscreens which they consider safe. Another of the dangers reported is that sunscreens give users a false sense of security by preventing sunburn – while actually doing little or nothing to prevent skin cancer or the accelerated aging of the skin caused by sunlight.

Sunburn usually occurs when the amount of UV rays exceeds the melanin’s ability to protect our skin. It is often characterized by symptoms like tender and red skin as well as blisters. The affected skin areas usually begin to peel a couple of days later. In severe cases, patients may suffer from nausea, chill, fever and rash. Constant exposure to the sun can cause skin damage which ranges from sunburn to cancer. Further research reveals that it may trigger the occurrence of many premature aging symptoms which include wrinkles and leathery appearance of the skin.

Did you know that some pure, natural ingredients have a natural SPF (sun protection factor) of up to 30? It’s true. These natural substances include raspberry seed oil, shea butter, carrot seed oil, wheat germ oil, peanut oil, avocado oil, soybean oil, coconut oil, sesame oil and hemp.

We have discovered an amazing homemade sunscreen recipe that is made using natural ingredients which are known for their SPF properties.

Note that the formula also uses zinc oxide – typically not a natural ingredient. Zinc oxide does occur naturally as the mineral zincite but most of the zinc oxide used in products is produced synthetically. [3] The formula avoids all the other chemicals often found in sunscreens. If you are opposed to the use of zinc oxide (somewhat controversial), you can simply omit it from the recipe but be aware that your safe time of exposure will be reduced.

Ingredients that Naturally Protect Us from the Sun

There are natural ingredients, some may be found in our kitchens, that work to protect us from over exposure to the sun. Many are oils that contain SPF properties such as:

  • Raspberry Seed Oil. The highest of all natural ingredients, contains an estimated SPF of 30-50.
  • Shea Butter. An excellent skin protectant with an SPF of approximately 6-10.
  • Carrot Seed Oil. Carrot seed oil is an essential oil and has been estimated to contain SPF levels of 30.
  • Wheat Germ Oil. While super nourishing for the skin, it too possesses a natural SPF of 20.
  • Sesame oil, Coconut Oil, Hemp oil, Avocado oil, Soybean, and Peanut Oil. All contain SPF levels between 4-10.

However, none of these ingredients are necessarily adequate on their own to provide us protection for an all day experience…say, out on the lake.

In order to make your own sunscreen you really should add the natural mineral zinc oxide (and possibly titanium oxide) to your recipe. This will give you real power to reflect the sun’s ray, with minimal negative effects.

 

Ingredients that Naturally Protect Us from the Sun

There are natural ingredients, some may be found in our kitchens, that work to protect us from over exposure to the sun. Many are oils that contain SPF properties such as:

  • Raspberry Seed Oil. The highest of all natural ingredients, contains an estimated SPF of 30-50.
  • Shea Butter. An excellent skin protectant with an SPF of approximately 6-10.
  • Carrot Seed Oil. Carrot seed oil is an essential oil and has been estimated to contain SPF levels of 30.
  • Wheat Germ Oil. While super nourishing for the skin, it too possesses a natural SPF of 20.
  • Sesame oil, Coconut Oil, Hemp oil, Avocado oil, Soybean, and Peanut Oil. All contain SPF levels between 4-10.

However, none of these ingredients are necessarily adequate on their own to provide us protection for an all day experience…say, out on the lake.

In order to make your own sunscreen you really should add the natural mineral zinc oxide (and possibly titanium oxide) to your recipe. This will give you real power to reflect the sun’s ray, with minimal negative effects.

Method

The Recipe

Ingredients
Customize this recipe based on your budget and what you have available.

-1 ounce oil blend (use any combination of the oils listed above)
-1 ounce beeswax (adds waterproof properties)
-1 ounce butter blend (i.e. Shea butter, mango butter, or cocoa butter)
-1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
-0.36 ounces zinc oxide powder
-30 drops essential oils, optional

1. Gather ingredients and kitchen tools. Note: Many of the oils listed above can be found in the grocery store or health food store.

2. In a double boiler, over low heat, melt the oils, beeswax, and butters.

3. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly prior to adding the vitamin E oil, zinc oxide powder, and essential oils. Note: Wear a mask when working with zinc oxide. Although it has not been proven harmful when used topically, inhaling the substance can be dangerous.

4. Stir until zinc oxide is dissolved.

5. Pour into a push-up or roll-up dispenser. This recipe will produce a product similar to a lotion bar or sunscreen stick. You could easily clean out and re-purpose a used deodorant or lip balm container.

6. Allow to cool and harden on the counter overnight and then you’re good to go! During times of heavy sun and swim exposure be sure to reapply often for the best coverage.

""
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Ingredients for Recipe Two

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup sweet almond oil

  • 2 TB shea butter
  • 1/4 cup beeswax pellets
  • 4 TB zinc powder non-nano
  • 20-25 drops carrot seed essential oil

Instructions

  1. On the stove-top, add 1 cup of water to a small saucepan. Place a heat-resistant glass bowl on top of the saucepan. Bring the water in the saucepan to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. This creates a homemade double broiler to keep ingredients from over-heating.
  2. In the glass bowl add: coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax. Melt the ingredients, stirring frequently.
  3. Remove the bowl from the heat, add to the coconut oil mixture: almond oil, carrot seed oil, and zinc powder. Stir.
  4. Once removed from the heat the beeswax will begin to set

The sunscreen will solidify after about five minutes. The final result will be a spreadable lotion

 

 

-Beneficial, sun protecting essential oils include lavender, myrrh, carrot seed oil, and peppermint.

Along with homemade sunscreen I also include foods in our summer diet which aid in sun protection, such as: dark leafy greens, berries, carrots, egg yolks, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes.

 

Don’t shun the sun completely! Our fear of the sun has precipitated a societal vitamin D deficiency that is unfortunately taking us by storm — potentially producing an increase rate of cancers, autism, asthma, heart disease, and mental illness, just to name a few.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archivned

Dr Gail Gray DPH

312-972-9355 ( Well)

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

 

Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Do Not Take a One-A-Day-Vitamin

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

Why One-A-Day Vitamins are Not The Healthy Way To go

pills (1) 

If you’re currently taking or considering taking a multivitamin with a recommended serving size of only one pill a day, you’re pretty much wasting your time.

 

Why?

 

It’s very doubtful can pack enough vitamins and minerals to truly make any real difference in complementing your healthy diet.

 

Producers of multivitamins have come up with some pretty amazing ways to compress ingredients, but not to this extreme… not down to where a single tablet provides you the vitamin and mineral levels you need on a daily basis.

 

And speaking of minerals, many producers of one-per-day vitamins don’t even bother including essential minerals like potassium or magnesium in adequate enough amounts to really make a difference.

 

What about other nutrients from sources like vegetables, fruits and herbs? Shouldn’t they be blended into your multi as well? I certainly think so.

 

But it’s also vitally important to know when to take your multivitamin. To maximize your multivitamin’s benefits, you should take a few tablets first thing in the morning and with lunch, or with an early dinner to help optimize your nutrient absorption.

 

Before we jump further into all the nutrients I believe should go into a multi, let’s first take a closer look at why all multivitamins are not created equal.

 

Some may in fact have little impact on your health. So remember, you must be very cautious when choosing a product to ensure that your multivitamin really benefits you.

Why You Should Avoid Synthetic Forms of Certain Vitamins Like the Plague…

 

In my opinion, if you shop for your supplements at discount stores, you may be seriously shortchanging yourself because many of those products typically use cheap synthetic isolate forms for certain important vitamins.

 

Instead of seeking a good multivitamin, millions of people take certain forms of vitamins, which may do less to support their optimal health.

 

You see, certain synthetic forms of vitamins are partial vitamins, combined with other chemicals. They’re completely different than vitamins from whole, real food.

 

When you remove a part from the whole, you get “synthetic,” “isolated” or “fractionated” pieces of the whole, but it’s simply not the same.

 

Here are four major problems with these kinds of vitamins…

 

Nature intended for you to consume food in WHOLE form because all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes are together in one package. They work synergistically to give your body the nutrition it requires for optimal health.

Your body only absorbs a percentage of some forms of vitamins and minerals – and it utilizes even less. You get the best bioavailability in combination whole food form.

Certain synthetic vitamins often give you massive quantities of some nutrients (usually the most inexpensive ones) and insufficient quantities of others.

You may experience side effects of certain synthetic vitamins because the form of the vitamin is not the natural form.

You’ve heard me say it before… Fast food and a sedentary lifestyle can be a disaster for your health. Don’t let your multivitamin add to the collateral damage.

 

In fact, you want to be sure your multivitamin benefits you and offers a real and significant contribution to your health, especially if you’ve already adopted healthy lifestyle practices.

Many people who suffer from allergies can not take some vitamins and minerals, and then they can not take some brands.  Especially children!

 

Who Doesn’t Want to Feel Great All the Time?

 

One thing you can do to optimize your health and feel great is to maximize your immune system’s capabilities.

 

Because face it – everybody wants to feel good all the time, don’t they?

 

Now is the time to start moving toward a healthier diet and lifestyle. Start today, by adding just one raw vegetable per day to your diet… a small, doable step toward your better health.

 

Why make these changes today?

 

Because, ideally, it is best to receive all your nutrition from high-quality unprocessed foods. In fact, before focusing on finding a good multivitamin, I highly recommend first evaluating your diet and your lifestyle.

 

If you are eating a wholesome diet composed of raw fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meats and raw dairy from reliable sources, then you may have less need for a multivitamin.

 

Unfortunately, if you’re like most people, you may find it impractical or impossible to eat right all the time.

 

Therefore, even when you take the steps of adding raw veggies to your diet, getting some exercise and obtaining vitamin D from sunshine, you still might want to supplement with a high-quality multivitamin every day – just to be sure you’re getting well-balanced and optimal nutrition.

 

Plus, even if you do well with your diet choices, there is another important factor that involves the actual food supply itself…

 

Up to 50% of the Nutrient Value of Your Food May Be Lost From the Start

 

A number of carefully controlled studies have provided startling evidence that by the time food reaches your table, serious nutrient content could already be lost.

 

Some estimates report the nutrient value lost at over 50%!

 

This is largely the result of conventional farming methods that rely heavily on chemical fertilizers and pesticides, which deplete the soil of nutrients… nutrients that must be absorbed by plants in order to be passed on to you.

 

And it does not necessarily end there.

 

In many cases, it’s likely you unknowingly further deplete the nutrients in your food – just by the way you prepare it. For many foods, cooking will seriously impair the nutritional value.

 

So, realizing that you cannot always obtain the whole unprocessed foods you need – and knowing how easy it is for valuable nutrients to be destroyed – you now know why I believe adding a good multivitamin to complement your diet is a sound move.

 

What Can a High-Quality Multivitamin Do for You?

 

While I cannot endorse taking a supplement in place of living a healthy lifestyle, it is true that a good multivitamin benefits your optimal health.

 

A high-quality multivitamin helps promote your strong immune system, building up your body’s defenses.*

 

If you need help if adding the correct vitamins and minerals to your personal healthcare plan, contact us and we will be happy to go over this with you.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr Gemma Carney FACP

312-972-WELL

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

10 Ways to Treat COPD Naturally: A must read if you know someone with COPD

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

 

10 Ways to Treat COPD Symptoms Naturally

 

Are you familiar with the third leading cause of death in the U.S.? I’m talking about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, more commonly known as COPD. This respiratory disease is characterized by an abnormal inflammatory response in the lungs and restricted airflow, which both result in difficulty doing the most vital thing in life — breathing. And these are just a few COPD symptoms so many people deal with.

Important News on COPD.  It has been more than 50 years that the Federal Government has been warning people about COPD from smoking cigarettes.  The Insurance Board has stated that your medical insurance no longer has to pay for your healthcare.  It is a choice you have made, and no one should pay for your poor decision.

 

More than 11 million people in this country have already been diagnosed with COPD, but an estimated 24 million may have the disease without even realizing it! (1) COPD is actually an umbrella term that includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis and, in some cases, asthma. The No. 1 reason someone gets COPD in developed countries is smoking tobacco, so the best way to avoid COPD is not to smoke or stop smoking immediately. Sadly, close to half of U.S. adults over the age of 40 who have trouble breathing due to asthma or COPD still continue to smoke. (2)

 

If you’re willing, there are many ways to treat and reduce your risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with your own efforts and natural treatment. But first, you must realize you have COPD symptoms to begin with — then you can pinpoint exactly how to treat them.

 

COPD Symptoms & Life Expectancy

 

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema, bronchiectasis and chronic airway obstruction. These diseases are all commonly characterized by irreversible airflow limitation.

Symptoms of COPD often don’t appear until significant lung damage has occurred, and they usually worsen over time, particularly if smoking exposure continues. For chronic bronchitis, the main symptom is a daily cough and sputum production at least three months a year for two consecutive years.

 

Signs and symptoms of COPD include:

 

 

 

Shortness of breath while doing everyday activities or during physical activities

 

Chronic cough

 

Wheezing

 

Chest tightness

 

Frequent respiratory infections

 

Blueness of the lips or fingernail beds

 

General fatigue and lack of energy or chronic fatigue syndrome

 

Producing a lot of mucus or phlegm

 

Having to clear your throat first thing in the morning, due to excess mucus in your lungs

 

Unintended weight loss (in later stages)

 

 

 

People with COPD are likely to experience episodes called exacerbations. This is when symptoms become worse than usual and persist for at least several days. If you have one or more of these symptoms on a regular basis, then you definitely want to seek medical advice. Early detection of COPD is key to successful treatment. A simple test called spirometry can be used to measure pulmonary (lung) function and detect COPD in anyone with breathing problems.

 

 

 

There are four stages of COPD:

 

 

 

Stage 1 — very mild COPD

 

Stage 2 — moderate COPD

 

Stage 3 — severe emphysema/chronic bronchitis

 

Stage 4 — very severe COPD

 

Each of these stages has a different impact on each sufferer, but generally speaking the higher the stage of COPD, the shorter the life expectancy. Overall, COPD can cause serious long-term disability and early death. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for COPD, and the number of people dying from COPD continues to grow. However, there are natural ways to slow its progression.

 

10 Natural Treatments for COPD Symptoms

 

Avoid Smoke in Every Way

 

The most essential step in conventional and natural treatment plan for COPD is the same — stop any and all forms of smoking. Yes, this includes the electronic cigarette. If you smoke, this is the only way to keep COPD from getting worse.

 

In general, you should avoid smoke of any kind. You should also avoid air pollution as much as possible. If you’re not a smoker, then you definitely need to avoid places where others smoke. Smoking yourself is definitely the worst thing you can do when it comes to COPD, but secondhand smoke and air pollution can damage and irritate your lungs too. (3)

 

 

 

  1. Improve Your Breathing

 

 

There are techniques for breathing that can help you breathe more efficiently with COPD. These breathing techniques can also help improve breathing for people with asthma as well as people who don’t currently have lung issues but want to optimize their breathing.

According to the American Association for Respiratory Care, pursed-lip breathing and diaphragmatic breathing may increase your blood oxygen levels and help reduce shortness of breath. (4) A respiratory therapist can be very helpful if you need assistance with breathing techniques.

 

  1. Follow a Healthy Diet

 

A healthy diet can help manage and improve COPD symptoms. Some foods in particular should be mainstays when it comes to an anti-COPD diet while others should be majorly or entirely avoided. Your diet should definitely have plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits to ensure you get lots of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Citrus fruits are especially helpful because they contain quercetin. Wild-caught fish, flaxseeds and chia seeds, along with other omega-3 foods, can provide anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.

 

If you’re suffering with COPD symptoms, you definitely want to steer clear of conventional dairy since pasteurized dairy is mucus-producing and can plug the airways in the lungs. You always want to stay away from processed, canned and frozen foods and sugar as well. Additives, preservatives and food dyes are also known for contributing to breathing issues and even asthma attacks.

 

  1. Increase Water Intake Inside and Outside the Body

 

One of the common and frustrating COPD symptoms is having mucus collect in your airways. This mucus can be difficult to clear and result in persistent and uncontrollable coughing. One internal way you can improve this mucus problem is by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Drink at least eight glasses of water daily to thin mucus and stay hydrated.

 

 

 

Externally, you can increase the moisture content of the air in your home by using a humidifier. Humidifiers can also help make breathing easier. I like using one while I’m sleeping at night.

 

5.Exercise

 

When you’re having trouble breathing, exercise might seem like a terrible idea, but being sedentary won’t do anything to help your COPD symptoms. By regularly getting exercise, especially cardio workouts, you can strengthen your respiratory muscles and improve your overall endurance.

About 40 percent of people with COPD experience high levels of depression and anxiety, which makes it even more difficult to quit smoking and comply with treatment. Exercise also increases endorphin levels, which improves mood, reduces depression and anxiety, and makes it easier to quit smoking.

 

  1. Use Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil can be very helpful for people with COPD. A study in Respiratory Research showed that cineole, the main constituent of eucalyptus essential oil, actually reduced exacerbations in people with COPD. It also reduced dyspnea (shortness of breath), and improved lung function as well as health status overall. Furthermore, the research suggested that cineole is an active controller and reducer of airway inflammation in COPD.

To get the benefits of cineole, you can use eucalyptus oil in a diffuser and/or humidifier and breath in the anti-inflammatory air.

 

7.Consume Ginseng

Ginseng is an herbal supplement that improves lung function and also decrease bacteria in the lungs. Panax ginseng in particular has a long history of use in Chinese medicine for respiratory conditions, including asthma and COPD.

A recent study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine highlighted therapeutic ginseng benefits. Panax ginseng and ginsenosides (active components of ginseng) appear to inhibit processes related to the development of COPD.

 

Take N-Acetylcysteine (NAC)

 

Supplementing with NAC helps decrease the severity and frequency of asthma attacks and improves overall lung function by increasing glutathione levels and thinning bronchial mucus. Glutathione fights against oxidative stress in the respiratory tract, which can make NAC a powerful and effective natural treatment for COPD.

 

 

 

Avoid Cold and Crowds

 

When you have COPD symptoms, it’s important to avoid things that make them even worse. I already told you that smoke and pollution are absolutely key to avoid. Another thing to be aware of is the fact that cold air can trigger bronchospasm, a sudden constriction in the muscles of airway walls that leads to shortness of breath. If the weather is really chilly, it’s a smart idea to avoid or reduce your time outdoors. You can also help your symptoms by putting on a face mask before going out into very cold temperatures.

 

Another environmental hazard to avoid, especially if you have been prone to respiratory infections, is large crowds. Since respiratory infections can cause COPD symptoms to worsen, the less you’re in big crowds the lower your risk of being exposed to infectious germs. By no means am I encouraging you to be a hermit and never go to a mall again — I just want you to be smart and not unnecessarily put yourself in situations that could make your symptoms any worse.

 

Reduce Stress

As with all health issues and diseases, stress only makes COPD symptoms, like airway inflammation and shortness of breath, worse. By reducing your daily stress and managing stress in healthy ways, you’re more relaxed, and this has a direct positive effect on your COPD symptoms. (13)

 

If you suffer from COPD, you should make time every day to relax both mentally and physically. Try some of these natural stress relievers to start.

 

 

The COPD Umbrella

 

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is an umbrella term that includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis and sometimes asthma. Here are some alarming stats on COPD:

 

 

 

According to the CDC, smoking accounts for as many as eight out of 10 COPD-related deaths. However, as many as one out of four Americans with COPD never smoked cigarettes.

A hallmark symptom of COPD is shortness of breath that gets worse over time. It’s often accompanied by a phlegm-producing cough and episodes of wheezing.

Typically, the first symptoms of emphysema occur in heavy smokers in their mid-50s.

Shortness of breath occurs with chronic bronchitis, but it may not be as severe during rest as it is in people with emphysema.

Classic symptoms of an asthma attack are coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath (dyspnea).

People with chronic asthma can get airway obstruction that makes them more likely to develop COPD.

Approximately 40 percent of those with COPD experience high levels of depression and anxiety, making it more difficult to comply with treatment and quit smoking.

COPD in the U.S.:

 

Women were more likely to report COPD than men (6.7 percent vs. 5.2 percent).

Prevalence is lower among homemakers, students and the employed than among those who are unable to work, unemployed or retired.

Prevalence decreases as income increases (from 9.9 percent among those making less than $25,000 a year to 2.8 percent among those making more than $75,000).

36.4 percent of those reporting COPD were former smokers.

38.7 percent of those reporting COPD continued to smoke.

43.7 percent of those reporting COPD had a history of asthma.

 

COPD Risk Factors & Root Causes

In developed countries, the central cause of COPD is tobacco smoking. In the developing world, COPD often occurs in people exposed to fumes from burning fuel for cooking and heating in poorly ventilated homes.

Root causes and risk factors for COPD include:

Smoking — By far, the biggest risk factor for COPD is long-term cigarette smoking. The more years you smoke and the more cigarettes you smoke daily, the greater your risk for developing the disease. People who smoke pipes, cigars and marijuana are also at risk.

Tobacco smoke exposure — People exposed to large amounts of secondhand smoke are also at risk.

People with asthma who smoke — The combination of asthma and smoking increases the risk of COPD even more.

Occupational exposure to chemicals and dusts — Long-term exposure to chemical fumes, vapors and dusts in the workplace or elsewhere can irritate and inflame your lungs.

Age — COPD develops slowly over years. The majority of sufferers are at least 35 to 40 years old when symptoms begin.

Genetics — In about 1 percent of people with COPD, the disease results from a genetic disorder that causes low levels of a protein called alpha-1 antitrypsin. Alpha-1-antitrypsin is made in the liver and secreted into the bloodstream to help protect the lungs. Other genetic factors also likely make certain smokers more susceptible to the disease.

 

COPD in Women

 

Deaths resulting from COPD are higher in women than in men. There are a few reasons why this happens:

 

In the late 1960s, the tobacco industry intensely targeted women. This resulted in a huge increase in women smoking. We are still seeing new cases of smoking-related diseases, including COPD, as women age.

Women are more vulnerable than men to lung damage from cigarette smoke and other pollutants. Their lungs are smaller, and estrogen plays a role in worsening lung disease.

Women are often misdiagnosed. Because COPD has long been thought of as a man’s disease, many doctors still don’t expect to see it in women and miss the proper diagnosis.

 

COPD Symptoms Takeaways

 

COPD is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. More than 11 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with COPD, while an estimated 24 million may have the disease without even realizing it.

COPD symptoms include shortness of breath while doing everyday activities or during physical activities, chronic cough, wheezing, chest tightness, frequent respiratory infections, blueness of the lips or fingernail beds, general fatigue and lack of energy, producing a lot of mucus or phlegm, having to clear your throat first thing in the morning due to excess mucus in your lungs and unintended weight loss (in later stages). People with COPD are likely to experience episodes called exacerbations. This is when symptoms become worse than usual and persist for at least several days.

There are four stages of COPD: Stage 1, very mild COPD; Stage 2, moderate COPD; Stage 3, severe emphysema/chronic bronchitis; Stage 4, very sever COPD.

To naturally treat COPD symptoms, avoid smoking in every form, improve breathing, follow a healthy diet, increase water intake inside and outside the body, exercise, use eucalyptus oil, consume ginseng, take NAC, avoid cold and crowds, and reduce stress.

The root causes and risk factors for COPD include smoking, tobacco smoke exposure, having asthma and smoking, occupational exposure to chemicals and dusts, age, and genetics. In addition, deaths resulting from COPD are higher in women than in men.

 

Please share with family and loved ones and call us if you have concerns and question about what to do in your healthcare needs.

 

 

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article

Dr Jay Jaranson

Dr Gail Gray

312-972-Well

Healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

 

 

 

Foods, Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

How to Prevent Kidney Problems with Food

thekidneys

How to Prevent and Treat Kidney Problems With Food

 

Your kidneys — two bean-shaped organs — are located just below your rib cage one on either side of your spine. Positioned on top of each kidney are your adrenal glands. Each day, your kidneys filter up to 150 quarts of blood and flush out waste products through your urine.

 

One of the reasons why you need to drink enough water is to ensure healthy kidney function. In fact, chronic low-grade dehydration is one of the most common causes of kidney stones.

 

Poor kidney function is also associated with a number of other serious health problems, including diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Common signs of kidney problems include:

 

Frequent urination

Problems urinating

Pain or burning sensation during urination

Constant thirst

Good kidney function1 is essential for maintaining homeostasis in your body, starting with the composition of your blood. For example, your kidneys are responsible for maintaining proper pH level and electrolyte balance (the ratios of sodium, potassium and phosphates).

 

They also produce hormones that make red blood cells, and those that help regulate your blood pressure.

 

Dietary Factors That Threaten Kidney Health

Waste products removed by your kidneys and eliminated through your urine include urea and uric acid, produced from the breakdown of proteins and nucleic acids respectively.

 

Excessive protein intake increases urea, while uric acid is a byproduct of both protein and fructose metabolism. Fructose typically increases uric acid within minutes of ingestion.

 

I became fully aware of the dramatic and devastating impact fructose has on your uric acid levels when I interviewed Dr. Richard Johnson on this topic.

 

Most Americans consume three to five times more protein than they need, and two to four times (or more) fructose than is considered safe. These two dietary factors, alone and especially in combination, places significant stress on your kidneys and promote kidney disease and kidney stones.

 

Kidney stones are particularly linked to a diet high in processed fructose and other sugars, as sugar upsets the mineral relationships in your body by interfering with calcium and magnesium absorption. The phosphorus acid in soda also acidifies your urine, which promotes stone formation.

 

Analgesic drugs are also known to damage your kidneys when taken in excess, and/or over long periods of time. This includes aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen — especially when taken in combination with alcohol, even if the amount of alcohol is small.

 

Research2,3 shows that combining alcohol with acetaminophen raises your risk of kidney damage by 123 percent, compared to taking either of them individually. Long term alcohol consumption and smoking also take their toll on kidney function.

 

3 Dietary Keys to Protect Kidney Function

To protect your kidney function, keep the following three basic factors in mind:

 

  • Restrict protein to just what your body needs. An ideal protein intake is likely around one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body mass, which for most is 40 to 70 grams a day.

 

The American Kidney Fund recommends restricting protein to a maximum of 50 grams if you have kidney disease4

 

  • Restrict fructose to 25 grams per day (about 6 teaspoons), or less (especially if you’re insulin/leptin resistant)

 

  • Drink pure, clean water. Simply swapping out sweetened beverages like sodas and fruit juices for pure water can go a long way toward improving your kidney function and overall health.

 

The best way to gauge your water needs is to observe the color of your urine (it should be light pale yellow) and the frequency of your bathroom visits (ideally, this is around seven to eight times per day).

 

How to Calculate Your Protein Requirement

Considering the fact that the majority of Americans are overweight or obese, I recommend calculating your individual protein requirement based on lean bodyweight (your total weight minus your fat) only.

 

For optimal health, I believe most adults need about 1 gram of protein per kilogram of lean body mass (not total body weight), or 0.5 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass.

 

In this formula, you must first determine your lean body mass. To do that, subtract your percent body fat from 100. For example, if you have 30 percent body fat, then you have 70 percent lean body mass.

 

Then multiply that percentage (in this case, 0.7) by your current weight to get your lean body mass in pounds or kilos. As an example, if you weigh 170 pounds; 0.7 multiplied by 170 equals 119 pounds of lean body mass.

 

Using the “0.5 gram of protein” rule, you would need 59.5 or just under 60 grams of protein per day.

 

100 – % of body fat = % of lean mass X actual weight X 0.5 gm protein = total grams of protein recommended

 

Example: A 170 lb individual with 30% fat mass

 

100% total weight – 30% fat mass = 70 % lean mass

 

0.70 X 170 = 119 X 0.5 = 60 grams of protein recommended

 

Requirements Into Foods Translating Ideal Protein

To determine whether you’re getting too much protein, simply calculate your lean body mass as described above, then write down everything you’re eating for a few days, and calculate the amount of daily protein from all sources.

 

Again, you’re aiming for one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body mass, which would place most people in the range of 40 to 70 grams of protein per day. If you’re currently averaging a lot more than that, adjust downward accordingly.

 

The chart below can give you a general idea of the protein content of many foods. I personally use Cronometer.com to enter everything I eat and carefully calculate my protein requirement to the gram.

 

Just be sure to enter the correct foods and amounts into the program, as the results will be inaccurate if you don’t enter the correct details.

 

Red meat, pork, and poultry average 6 to 9 grams of protein per ounce.

 

An ideal amount for most people would be a 3-ounce serving of meat (not 9 or 12 ounce steaks!), which will provide about 18 to 27 grams of protein

 

Eggs contain about 6 to 8 grams of protein per egg.

 

So an omelet made from two eggs would give you about 12 to 16 grams of protein.

 

If you add cheese, you need to calculate that protein in as well (check the label of your cheese)

 

Seeds and nuts contain on average 4 to 8 grams of protein per quarter cup

 

Cooked beans average about 7 to 8 grams per half cup

 

Cooked grains average about 5 to 7 grams per cup

 

Most vegetables contain about 1 to 2 grams of protein per ounce

 

Interestingly, while fish is typically considered a good source of protein, most fish contain only HALF of the protein found in beef and chicken. The reduced protein content in fish may actually be one reason why the Mediterranean diet is linked to life extension and reduced risk for chronic disease.5 In essence, those who eat more fish than red meat are automatically getting far less protein.

 

Other Dietary Dos and Don’ts If You Have Kidney Disease and/or Stones

 

If you have kidney disease, you also need to reduce consumption of foods rich in phosphorous, as they may promote the formation of kidney stones. On the other hand, if you have problems urinating but don’t yet have kidney disease, try adding more potassium-rich foods (primarily vegetables and seeds) to your diet. Depending on the type of kidney stone you have, you may also need to modify your diet in other ways:

 

  • Struvite stones: Found more often in women, these are almost always the result of urinary tract infections

 

  • Cystine stones: Represent a very small percentage of kidney stones. These are the result of a hereditary disorder that causes your kidneys to excrete massive amounts of certain amino acids (cystinuria)

 

  • Uric acid stones: These are a byproduct of protein and fructose metabolism, and are commonly seen with gout. Cutting your protein and fructose consumption is essential for preventing and treating these types of stones. Taking potassium citrate (which lowers urine acidity and reduces urine excretion of calcium) may also help prevent uric acid stones6

 

  • Calcium oxalate stones:7 These are the most common. About 80 percent of kidney stones are calcium based, and about 80 percent of those are calcium oxalate stones. Typically, they are the result of insufficient water intake and dietary factors, including excessive oxalate, protein, and processed salt consumption

 

Oxalate is found in some fruits and vegetables, but your liver produces most of your oxalate. If you are found to have oxalate stones, your physician may recommend avoiding oxalate-rich foods. Also, make sure you’re getting enough magnesium, as magnesium helps prevent calcium from combining with oxalate to form stones8

 

If you have calcium oxalate stones, rather than reducing your calcium intake you’ll want to minimize the amount of oxalates in your body. Soy and beer are two primary culprits that should be avoided. For reasons that are unclear, grapefruit juice has been shown to increase the risk of kidney stones9 and is therefore best avoided. Other foods that contain high levels of oxalate10 that you’ll want to avoid if you have calcium oxalate kidney stones include:

 

Spinach

 

Rhubarb

 

Chocolate

 

Parsley

 

Beetroot

 

Most legumes,11 including green beans

 

Wheat and other grain-based flours12

 

Pepper

 

Nuts13

 

Potassium and Kidney Health

Potassium is a nutrient that receives a great deal of attention when you have kidney disease. On the one hand, potassium (a mineral and electrolyte) is essential for your cells, tissues, and organs to function properly. It plays a vital role in heart health, digestive, and muscular function, bone health, and more.

 

While potassium is found in many foods commonly consumed in the U.S. — including fruits, vegetables, dairy products, salmon, sardines, and nuts — only 2 percent of U.S. adults get the recommended daily amount of 4,700 milligrams (mg).

 

This can be problematic because potassium needs to be kept in proper balance with sodium in your blood. If you consume too much sodium, which is common if you eat many processed foods, you’ll have an increased need for potassium. Others who are at particular risk of low potassium (hypokalemia) are those with chronic malabsorption syndromes, such as Crohn’s disease, or those taking heart medicine (particularly loop diuretics).

 

However, anyone who eats a poor diet — an excess of processed foods and not enough fresh, whole foods — is potentially at risk of inadequate potassium levels.

 

All of that said, if you have severe kidney impairment, you typically need to restrict your intake of high-potassium foods.14 Why? Because your kidneys are responsible for maintaining the proper amount of potassium in your body, and when they’re not working well, your levels could become excessively elevated.

 

Potassium helps maintain a regular heart rhythm and plays a role in muscle function, and when your potassium level gets too high, it can lead to irregular heartbeat and/or a heart attack.

 

Recommended Potassium Intake Varies Depending on the Health of Your Kidneys

If your kidneys are working well, the recommended amount of potassium is about 4,700 mg per day,15 which also needs to be balanced with sodium. As a general rule, your potassium to sodium ratio should be around 5:1. The easiest way to achieve this ratio is to eat REAL food (lots of fresh vegetables), ideally organically and locally grown to ensure optimal nutrient content.

 

This type of whole food diet will naturally provide much larger amounts of potassium in relation to sodium, whereas a processed food diet is virtually guaranteed to provide you with an upside-down ratio. Juicing your vegetables is a good way to ensure you’re getting enough potassium.

 

If you have kidney disease, you need to pay careful attention to your potassium level and dietary intake. Most who are being treated for kidney disease will monitor their potassium level by measuring it monthly, and potassium- restricted diets typically recommend keeping potassium intake to about 2,000 mg per day.

 

Kidney-Friendly Superfoods

Besides monitoring your protein and sugar/fructose intake and drinking plenty of water, adding the following foods to your diet can also help promote optimal kidney function.16,17,18,19,20

 

Red bell peppers: low in potassium, rich in vitamins A, B6, C, folic acid and fiber

 

Cherries: rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals

 

Cabbage: low in potassium, rich in vitamins C and K, and fiber, and phytochemicals that protect against free radical damage

 

Red and purple grapes: rich in antioxidants; the skin is particularly rich in resveratrol

 

Cauliflower: high in vitamin C, folate and fiber

 

Watermelon: rich in water, with diuretic properties, allowing you to produce more urine to flush out toxins

 

Garlic: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-clotting properties

 

Lemon juice: helps reduce kidney stone formation

 

Onion: low in potassium, rich in antioxidants, particularly quercetin, which has natural antihistamine properties

 

Pumpkin seeds: rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, especially magnesium, which helps reduce the risk of kidney stones

 

Apples: high in fiber, antioxidants, and anti- inflammatory compounds. Raw organic apple cider vinegar is helpful for the prevention of kidney stones

 

Kale: lower in potassium, good source of vitamins A and C, rich in iron — the latter of which is important for kidney health. Many with kidney disease are also iron deficient21

 

Berries,22 including blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries

 

Sweet potatoes: rich in beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, and fiber, and a good source of B6 and potassium

 

Herbal Kidney Cleansers

A number of herbs also have kidney-cleansing properties, including the following:

 

Ginger: purifies the blood and kidneys of toxins

 

Red clover: diuretic that stimulates waste removal from the kidneys

 

Turmeric: has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent and treat kidney infections and inflammation

 

Chanca Piedra: Used in South America to break up kidney stones (its Spanish name actually means “stone breaker”)

 

Dandelion: a natural diuretic that helps strengthen the kidneys and soothe urinary tract problems

 

Hydrangea root: Native American remedy for kidney stones

 

Nettle: natural diuretic that helps purify blood and treat urinary tract infections; also high in iron, making it beneficial for building blood

 

Uva ursi root: helps treat urinary and bladder problems

 

Marshmallow root: natural diuretic that helps treat urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and bladder infections

 

Gravel root (Joe-Pye weed): Indian remedy for urinary tract and kidney health

 

Juniper: improves kidney function and helps treat urinary tract infections and kidney and/or bladder stones.

 

Avoid juniper berry if you have a kidney infection and/or are pregnant. Also don’t take continuously for more than four weeks

 

Goldenrod root: Native American remedy traditionally used to support urinary tract and kidney health

 

Yarrow root: a natural diuretic with antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties; helpful for urinary tract infections

 

 

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