Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Uncategorized

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Lemon Coconut Bliss Balls Recipe

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Lemon Coconut Bliss Balls Recipe

gluten free balls

Word of warning: these cinnamon lemon coconut bliss balls are ever so slightly addictive. But that’s alright because each one has just under 100 calories and only 3 grams of sugar, so you can use your own best judgment on when to indulge.

Want to know the key to keeping the sugar so low? The unusual but delicious pairing of cinnamon and lemon zest. If you love lemon and cinnamon and you’ve never tried this combo before, you’ll be hooked!

In addition to being low in sugar, they’re also a good source of heart-healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats. Plus, they’re super easy to make? The hardest part is zesting the lemon, but you can still be noshing in under 10 minutes flat—perfect when you’re craving a little something sweet!​

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fine almond flour
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons almond oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt or table salt
  • ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut ​

Preparation

  1. Combine almond flour, maple syrup, almond oil, lemon zest, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor bowl. Process until mixture is well combined and slightly sticky.
  2. Line a large plate or small baking sheet with plastic wrap and divide dough into 20 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.
  3. Place shredded coconut on a small plate and roll each ball in the coconut, then return to plate or baking sheet. May serve immediately or store covered in refrigerator until ready to eat

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

You may substitute the almond oil for any neutral tasting vegetable oil or liquid coconut oil. Feel free to add additional lemon zest and coconut if desired. Start with recommended amounts, then add more as needed.

Cooking and Serving Tips

You can make a big batch of these and store them in a well-sealed container in the freezer. Enjoy them frozen, or thaw them out a little in the refrigerator before serving. These bliss balls are perfect for dessert or an afternoon treat with a cup of tea.

 

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

6 Foods You Should Never Eat Raw

6 Foods You Should Never Eat Raw

 

We all know that we should include more raw food in our daily diet such as fresh fruits and vegetables. But some foods, even some vegetables, can be toxic in their undercooked state.

6 Foods You Should Never Eat Raw

“Many foods can be dangerous when eaten raw,” the team dietitian for the Orlando Magic basketball team tells Newsmax. “For example, eggplant contains solanine, a poisonous compound that can cause vomiting, diarrhea and damage to the central nervous system and needs to be cooked. Animal protein in general — dairy, raw cauliflower,poultry, pork and eggs — can be very dangerous when eaten raw because of the bacteria and parasites that can be found in these foods.”

Here are six more foods that should never be eaten raw:

  1. Cookie dough. We’ve all been guilty of licking the bowl, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a formal warning titled “Say No to Raw Dough!” urging folks NOT to yield to temptation and indulge. Raw dough contains flour and often eggs, both products that can harbor harmful germs and bacteria in their uncooked states.
  2. Potatoes. This vegetable, like eggplant, contains solanine. Green potatoes are particularly high in solanine and can be toxic even when cooked, according to Prevention. When you bake potatoes in a casserole or stew, make sure they are thoroughly cooked.
  3. Sprouts. Adding bean sprouts to salads is a great way to jazz up the meal, but uncooked sprouts can contain harmful bacteria, such as salmonella and E. Coli.
  4. Steak tartare. As delicious as this gourmet dish of raw ground beef mixed with eggs dish appears, that’s how dangerous it can be. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says on its website, Eatright.org, that we should never consume rare or even medium rare meat because in the grinding process, harmful bacteria on the surface gets ground into the meat. Ground meat needs to cooked to an internal temperate of 160 F.
  5. Raw milk. Drinking raw milk has become trendy as many people believe it can cure many diseases, but Collingwood warns it’s a health hazard. “Drinking unpasteurized milk can be dangerous because of the bacteria it can contain,” she says.
  6. Raw asparagus. This is another vegetable that should be cooked even though it’s not toxic, according to Alternative Daily. Cooking enhances the cancer-fighting antioxidants in this vegetable and increased the absorption of vital nutrients like vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. Cooking will also help break down the fiber making it more easily digestible.

“While you may have eaten raw cookie dough or steak tartare without incident in the past, all it takes is one time that you willnews get sick and it can be potentially deadly, especially for someone with a compromised immune system,” says Collingwood.

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Sugar-Free Coconut Shrimp Recipe

Sugar-Free Coconut Shrimp Recipe

Coconut Shrimp

Coconut shrimp is a fan favorite finger food—it is crispy, slightly sweet, and of course, features delicious shrimp! But restaurant and party versions of this appetizer can often be over sweet and therefore loaded with sugar. In this sugar-free version of coconut shrimp, the sweetener in the coating is optional, so you can add a bit to mimic the popular restaurant versions’ sweetness if you desire.

These sugar-free coconut shrimp can be served as an appetizer, party food, or main course.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (ground, or 1 teaspoon ground ancho pepper)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Optional: sugar substitute (such as stevia) to taste
  • 1/2 cup coconut (unsweetened shredded coconut)
  • Cooking oil of your choice, such as vegetable or canola, for frying
  • 1 pound large shrimp (raw, peeled and deveined and thaw if frozen)

Preparation

  1. Mix coconut flour with seasonings in a shallow bowl.
  2. Whisk the eggs with a fork in a small dish, and mix with the 2 tablespoons water. Add sweetener if desired.
  3. Put shredded coconut in a separate dish.
  4. Pour oil into a large skillet to about 3/4 inch depth. Heat to 350 to 360 F, or until the end of a wooden spoon handle dipped into the oil collects bubbles around it.
  5. Holding shrimp by the tail, roll in the seasoned coconut flour and shake to get most of it off—you just want a thin coating. Then dip in egg mixture, again shaking off the excess. Finally, roll in coconut.
  6. 6Place shrimp in the oil and fry until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Don’t crowd the pan, which will lower the temperature of the oil—this makes them absorb more oil and end up heavy and greasy. Tongs are the best tool for turning and removing the shrimp.
  7. Remove shrimp from the oil to a paper towel or cooling rack.

Cooking and Nutrition Notes

To thaw shrimp, place frozen shrimp in a colander and place under cold running water for several minutes until shrimp are no longer icy and stiff. Place between paper towels to absorb the water.

When frying the shrimp, you can put each in the oil as you bread them, but you will have to watch the shrimp you put in the skillet first closely to make sure they’re not getting overcooked (and don’t forget to flip!). An alternative method is to bread a few shrimp at once and then put them all in the pan at the same time (as long as they fit without being too crowded).

Keep in mind that the calorie count listed here can vary since the amount of oil used by each cook can differ depending on the pan size. It is also difficult to get a precise number since the frying temperature will affect the amount of oil absorbed. In addition, the exact amount of coconut breading per shrimp will vary.

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

CALORIES354
FAT23g
CARBS23g
PROTEIN13g

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Uncategorized, Lifestyle

Poor Diet = Poor Mental Health

Poor Diet = Poor Mental Health

In this groundbreaking talk, Dr. Weil illuminates the worst trends in American nutrition, and the toll they are taking on our health.

Researchers at Loma Linda University in California have found that adults in the state whose diets are poor are more likely to have poor mental health regardless of their gender, age, education, marital status or income level than those with healthy diets. The team reported that increased consumption of sugar was associated with bipolar disorder and that fried foods, or those that contain a lot of sugar and processed grains, were linked with depression.

To reach these conclusions the researchers reviewed data from more than 240,000 telephone surveys conducted with California residents over a 10-year period. The team found that nearly 17 percent of adults were likely to suffer from mental illness – 13.2 percent with “moderate psychological distress and 3.7 percent with severe psychological distress. Those whose diets were poor (they ate more French fries, fast food, soda and sugar) were more likely to be among those with mental illness than people whose diets were deemed healthy Study leader Jim E. Banta, Ph.D., M.P.H., said the results are similar to those from earlier studies conducted in other countries that found links between mental illness and unhealthy diets. While the new findings don’t prove that unhealthy diets contribute to mental illness, Dr. Banta said evidence seems to be pointing in that direction.

May take? These findings are disheartening but not surprising. The evidence from previous investigations conducted in Europe that Dr. Banta referred to suggests that the trans-fats and saturated fats in some junk foods increase the risk of depression. In 2010 researchers from Spain who followed the diet and lifestyle of more than 12,000 men and women for 6 years reported that at the outset, none of the participants had been diagnosed with depression, but at the study’s end, 657 were found to be depressed. They noted that the risk of depression increased among participants who consumed junk foods. In 2009, British researchers reported that among nearly 3,500 midlife men and women participating in a 5-year study those whose diets were high in processed meat, chocolates, sweet desserts, fried foods, refined cereals and high-fat dairy products were 58 percent more likely to be depressed that those whose diets were composed mainly of fruit, vegetables and fish.Contact us and we can get you started on the right track.

 

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Ways to Help Your Cholesterol Level

5 Ways to Help You with Your Cholesterol Level

5 Foods That Can Help Manage High Cholesterol Levels - Dr. Weil's Daily Tip

For people battling high cholesterol, choosing meals wisely can be a challenge, but it is essential. Restaurants, parties, even an office potluck may present unhealthy temptations. But simple dietary modifications can help you eliminate those unhealthy choices:

  1. Reduce sugar and flour. Recent research indicates that added sweeteners and flour-based carbohydrates, which are far too abundant in the American diet, are major contributors to obesity and heart disease.  Be aware of the flour-based foods that may seem less obvious, such as breads, tortilla chips and cereals, as they are all high carbohydrate foods. As far as your cholesterol profile goes, they will raise your triglycerides. Recent research suggests that higher non-HDL cholesterol, comprised of LDL and triglycerides connect strongly to heart disease risk.  Gluten Free means there is still flour and sugar in the products.
  2. Avoid trans-fat. Stay away from items that list “hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil” on the label, especially snack foods such as chips or popcorn. Try baked or air-popped versions instead.
  3. Use fresh garlic regularly in your meals. Garlic has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels.
  4. Drink green tea daily. The antioxidants in green tea help lower cholesterol and prevent the cholesterol in your blood from oxidizing.  Women need to limit the amount that they drink daily.
  5. Eat plenty of soluble fiber. It has a powerful cholesterol-lowering effect. The best sources are beans and lentils, apples, citrus fruits, oats, barley, peas, carrots and freshly ground flaxseed.
  6.  Dairy Products :  The sugar and the additives they they are allowing in dairy products now will increase your cholesterol.  Even if it says organic, or gluten free, you will not be able to consume dairy products.

You do not see anything in here written about eggs , red meat, bacon or ham, because all of that has been dis-proven time and time again.

In addition, relax. There is quite a bit of data connecting stress, both physical and emotional, to elevated cholesterol levels. We talk about relaxation a lot, but rarely do we think of it as a way to lower cholesterol.

Always contact us if you need help, or have a question?

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard- 

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Foods, Uncategorized

CHOCOLATE AVOCADO COOKIES

CHOCOLATE AVOCADO COOKIES

Chocolate Avocado Cookies

Chocolate avocado cookies are healthy fudgy chocolate cookies made of 5 simple ingredients 100 % gluten free + low carb + paleo + sugar free.

Chocolate Avocado Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado about 1/2 cup mashed avocado
  • 1/4 cup natural maple Flavored Sugar-Free Syrup or maple syrup (if not low carb)
  • 1/2 cup nut butter peanut butter or almond butter (if paleo)
  • 1 egg or chia egg if vegan
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Optional

  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips, no sugar added or choose your favorite one
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 drops liquid stevia drops

 

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 180 C (360F)
  • Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slightly oil the paper with 1/2 teaspoon of liquid vegetable oil (coconut or peanut oil) . This will prevent the cookies to stick to the paper. Set aside.
  • Chocolate Avocado Cookies
  • In a food processor, with the S blade attachment, add ripe avocado and sugar free maple syrup (or liquid sweetener you like). Process for 30 seconds until it forms a creamy avocado batter with no lumps.
  • Stop, add egg, nut butter and cocoa powder. Process again for 30 seconds. Scrap down the bottom and side of the bowl and process for an extra 15 seconds to make sure all the batter is combine – no lumps.
  • Transfer the chocolate cookie batter onto a mixing bowl. It will bit moist and sticky that is what you want. Stir in chocolate chips and vanilla – if used.
  • Chocolate Avocado Cookies
  • Combine with a spatula until the chocolate chips are evenly incorporated. Test the batter and adjust with 2-3 drops of liquid stevia – only if you want a sweeter cookie. I did not add any to mine and my kids love them but if you have a sweet tooth I recommend few drops of stevia to make them sweeter. Add one drop at a time and see how it taste.
  • Prepare a small bowl with warm water, dip a spoon in the water and use that spoon to sample some chocolate cookie batter from your bowl. The water will prevent the batter to stick too much to your spoon.
  • Spoon the chocolate batter onto the baking sheet – I used another spoon to push the batter out of the first spoon.  Use a silicon spoon or spatula to flatten the cookie into a cookie shape. The batter won’t stick onto silicon which makes it easier to spread.
  • Repeat until you form 6 jumbo cookies. Those cookies won’t spread so you don’t need to leave more than half thumb space between each.
  • Sprinkle extra chocolate chips on top of each cookies if you like.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the centre is set.
  • Cool down 5 minutes on the baking sheet then transfer onto a cooling rack to cool down.
  • Store the cookies in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container.

 

 

People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard- 

 

 

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Do You Have Ringing In Your Ears?

Tinnitus, or chronic ringing in your ears, affects about 1 in 5 people. While it’s typically not serious, it can significantly impact your quality of life, and it may get worse with age or be a symptom of an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury or a circulatory system disorder.1

In the majority of cases, tinnitus is diagnosed after the age of 50 years, however, recent research has shown that tinnitus in youth is surprisingly common and on the rise, likely due to increased exposure to loud music and other environmental noise.2

Worse still, it may be a sign of permanent nerve damage that could predict future hearing impairment.

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One-Quarter of Youth May Experience Tinnitus, Risk Hearing Loss Later in Life

In a study of 170 students between the ages of 11 and 17 years, researchers from McMaster University in Canada found “risky listening habits,” including exposure to loud noise at parties or concerts, listening to music with ear buds and use of mobile phones excluding texting, were the norm.

More than half of the study participants reported experiencing tinnitus in the past, such as experiencing ringing in the ears for a day following a loud concert.

This is considered a warning sign; however, nearly 29 percent of the students were found to have already developed chronic tinnitus, as evidenced by a psychoacoustic examination conducted in a sound booth.3

Youth with and without tinnitus had a similar ability to hear, but those with tinnitus had significantly reduced tolerance for loud noise and tended to be more protective of their hearing.

Reduced sound level tolerance is a sign of damage to the auditory nerves because, when nerves used to process sound are damaged, it prompts brain cells to increase their sensitivity to noise, essentially making sounds seem louder than they are.

Prevention Is the Best Solution to Tinnitus

Auditory nerve injury that’s associated with tinnitus and heightened sensitivity to loud noises cannot be detected by typical hearing tests, which is why it’s sometimes called “hidden hearing loss.” Further, such damage is permanent and tends to worsen over time, causing increasing hearing loss later in life.

Because there is no known cure, the best solution is prevention. Study author Larry Roberts, Ph.D., of McMaster University’s Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour has compared the emerging risks from loud noises to early warnings about smoking.

At this point, many people are unaware that listening to loud music via earbuds or at parties may be permanently damaging their hearing, particularly since they may still hear normally at this point in time.

If more people were aware of the risks, more would take steps to turn down the volume and give their ears a break. Roberts told Science Daily:4

“It’s a growing problem and I think it’s going to get worse … My personal view is that there is a major public health challenge coming down the road in terms of difficulties with hearing …

The levels of sound exposure that are quite commonplace in our environment, particularly among youth, appear to be sufficient to produce hidden cochlear injuries … The message is, ‘Protect your ears.'”


Tinnitus Is Associated With Psychiatric Disorders and Stress

In adults, the majority of people with tinnitus (77 percent) may suffer from co-existing psychiatric disorders ranging from anxiety to personality disorders. Further, 62 percent of tinnitus patients may suffer from depressive disorders while 45 percent may have anxiety disorders.5

Further, there appears to be a close link between tinnitus and stress, such that stress may make tinnitus worse and vice versa. In one study, emotional exhaustion — or the feeling of being drained due to chronic stress — was a strong predictor of tinnitus severity.6

In addition, chronic stress may be as large a risk factor for developing tinnitus as exposure to occupational noise. Research has found that exposure to highly stressful situations and occupational noise each double the risk of tinnitus.7

Further, stress is especially influential in the transition from mild to severe tinnitus, with researchers concluding, “Stress management strategies should be included in hearing conservation programs, especially for individuals with mild tinnitus who report a high stress load.”8

Also of note, many people with tinnitus first noticed the ringing in their ears during a stressful life event, such as divorce, being laid off, sickness in family members, accidents or surgery. As noted in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry (JNNP):9

These events can heighten the brain’s arousal, and the tinnitus may be noted cortically [by the cerebral cortex]. This interaction between reduced auditory sensation and brain compensation might explain why some people are very bothered by their tinnitus and others just adjust to it.”

The researchers have suggested that tinnitus is not simply a condition affecting the auditory system but rather is neuropsychiatric in nature, which would explain why it often occurs alongside cognitive and behavioral symptoms.

Other Tinnitus Associations to Be Aware Of: Sleep, Trauma, Headaches and More

Tinnitus is often described as a symptom, not a disease in itself, and it may result from a variety of conditions. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one common cause, with nearly 40 percent of military personnel with TBI also experiencing tinnitus.10

Tinnitus is also associated with pain disorders and headaches, including migraines, and often leads to sleep difficulties such as delayed sleep, mid-sleep awakenings and chronic fatigue. In addition, tinnitus is also associated with cognitive deficits, including slowed cognitive processing speed and problems with attention.11

There are different types of tinnitus as well, and the variety may give clues as to its origin. For instance, tinnitus may occur in one or both ears and be described as:12

  • Throbbing or pulsing, which may be due to vascular tumors near the ear
  • High-pitched and continuous (this is most common)
  • Clicking, which may be related to muscle spasms in the roof of your mouth, which cause the Eustachian tube in your ear to open and close; temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues may also cause a clicking sound in your ear
  • Buzzing or humming

Abnormal bone growth in the middle ear, known as otosclerosis, may also cause tinnitus, as can damage to your vestibulocochlear nerve, which transmits sound from your ear to your brain. Such damage may occur from acoustic neuroma tumor or drug toxicity, for instance.

Additionally, certain medications, including certain cancer drugs, sedatives, and anti-inflammatories like ibuprophen and aspirin may also trigger tinnitus.

If this condition is causing you serious emotional or physical distress, seek professional help. In many cases, however, natural interventions such as those described below may help.

Effective Tinnitus Treatments

A slew of pharmaceuticals, including antidepressants, anxiety drugs, mood stabilizers and anticonvulsants, have been used to treat tinnitus.  A meta-analysis of a range of tinnitus management strategies revealed only antidepressants had a possible benefit, but even that study could not conclude that antidepressants were the answer.13

Considering their risks, and the fact that some antidepressants may cause ringing in the ears, non-drug options present the best course of action — and of these there are many.14

In many cases natural interventions, including the following, may help:

Cognitive behavioral therapy: which has been shown to improve quality of life in people with tinnitus.15 Even internet-based guided CBT has been shown to effectively manage tinnitus.16

Acupuncture: which was found to improve tinnitus severity and patients’ quality of life.17

Nutritional interventions, herbal remedies and melatonin: specifically, zinc deficiency and vitamin B12 deficiency may be associated with tinnitus.18,19 Herbal remedies, including Japanese cornel, dogwood, bayberry, hawthorn leaf, ginkgo and black cohosh may also be useful.20

In animal studies, ginkgo extract led to significant improvement in tinnitus, including complete relief in some cases.21 Melatonin also shows promise, and in one study melatonin supplementation led to a significant decrease in tinnitus intensity and improved sleep quality in patients with chronic tinnitus.22

Organic black coffee: research has shown that women who consumed higher amounts of caffeine (mostly in the form of coffee) were less likely to have tinnitus.23

Specifically, women who consumed less than 150 milligrams of caffeine a day (the amount in about 12 ounces of coffee) were 15 percent more likely to develop tinnitus than those who consumed 450 milligrams to 599 milligrams.24 The researchers weren’t sure why caffeine may reduce tinnitus risk, although past research has shown it has a direct effect on the inner ear or may be involved through its role in stimulating your central nervous system.

Stress management: including exercise, relaxation exercises and the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), is important for tinnitus treatment and prevention.

Simple Home Remedies May Provide Relief

If tinnitus is interfering with your quality of life, home remedies may help to relieve your symptoms (and if not, there’s no harm done in trying). Organic Facts compiled several examples worth considering:25

Warm salt pillow: fill a fabric bag with warm salt. Lie down on the pillow and alternate each ear on the bag. Reheat the salt as necessary and repeat several times a day. Foot baths: alternate your feet in hot and cold foot baths. This may dilate your blood vessels and stimulate blood flow toward your head, helping to relieve tinnitus symptoms.
Garlic oil: blend six cloves of fresh garlic with 1 cup of olive oil (the garlic should be finely minced in the process). Let the mixture steep for a week then strain out the garlic. Apply a few drops of the oil in each ear. Music: soft soothing music, white noise, nature sounds or even humming to yourself may help relieve tinnitus.
Stimulate your little toe: use a toothpick to gently stimulate the edge of your little toe near the toenail. This should result in a tingling sensation near the top of your toe. Doing this once a day may relieve tinnitus symptoms. Ear drumming: gently drum on each ear using your fingertips for two to three minutes twice a day to help relieve ringing.
Jawbone massage: massage the hollow and top areas of your jawbone behind your earlobes using coconut oil or sesame oil. You can also apply a hot compress to this neck area for relief.

How to Protect Your Ears From Loud Noise Exposures

While there are many causes of tinnitus, loud noise exposure is a primary culprit, especially among youth. It’s far easier to prevent related damage to your ears than it is to treat it. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends teens and young people take the following steps to protect their hearing and avoid hearing loss (although the advice applies to people of all ages):

Turn down the volume on personal audio devices Try a decibel meter app for your smartphone, which will flash a warning if the volume is turned up to a potentially damaging level Wear earplugs when you visit noisy venues (or when using loud equipment like lawnmowers or leaf blowers)
Use carefully fitted noise-cancelling earphones/headphones, which may allow you to listen comfortably at a lower volume Limit the amount of time you spend engaged in noisy activities Take regular listening breaks when using personal audio devices
Restrict the daily use of personal audio devices to less than one hour

J Mercola

P Carrothers

 

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Health and Wellness Associates
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Uncategorized, Diets and Weight Loss

Frozen Strawberry Yogurt Drops

Frozen Strawberry Yogurt Drops

yougurtstrawberries

 

Frozen Strawberry Yogurt Drops
Don’t these look so good ? You can make them by dipping strawberries (halved or whole) in vanilla yogurt (Greek might be best, because it’s thicker), then putting on a sheet pan lined with parchment or wax paper and freezing. Voila: Yogurt-covered strawberries!
You can also put strawberries in an ice cube tray and add yogurt.

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Restless Legs Syndrome

What is Restless Legs Syndrome?

An Absolute Cure for Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

 

Have you ever seen someone who was sitting on a sofa, or laying down in bed and they can not stop moving their foot and let back and forth?

Restless legs syndrome (RLS), sometimes called restless leg syndrome,1 is a neurological disorder that can be characterized by an uncontrollable urge to move your legs. Crawling or tingling sensations are felt, often at night.

Also known as the Willis-Ekbom disease,2 it affects about 7.2 to 11.5 percent of the general population3— mostly women and people 45 years old and below, although it can occur to anyone at any age. Pregnant women are also said to be prone to this condition, according to an American Academy of Neurology study.4

The irresistible urge to move affects an individual’s quality of rest or sleep, resulting in excessive daytime sleepiness,5 reduced total sleep time, longer sleep latency and more frequent insomnia.6

What Causes Restless Legs Syndrome?

The cause of restless legs syndrome remains a mystery, as researchers are yet to determine its single unifying cause. But what they know is that it is often hereditary, which is referred to as primary or familial RLS.7

Restless legs syndrome is likely to develop if you are taking certain medications or if you are suffering from a disease.8 In some cases, underlying health conditions such as iron deficiency anemia or kidney failure may also cause secondary restless legs syndrome or uremic RLS.9 Other conditions linked to RLS are peripheral neuropathy, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), low iron (ferritin) levels and end-stage renal disease with dialysis.10

Other potential triggers of restless legs syndrome include:11,12

  • Medicines (anti-nausea, antidepressants, antipsychotics, antihistamines and calcium channel blockers)
  • Lack and defective use of iron
  • Increasing age
  • Frequent blood donations

Restless Legs Syndrome Symptoms to Watch Out For

The name of this condition implies its distinct symptom: the urge to move the legs. Other restless legs syndrome symptoms associated with movement include walking, jiggling of legs, tossing and turning, and stretching.13 People with RLS feel sensations of throbbing, pulling, itching or crawling in their legs. These symptoms may occur either on one side of the body, on both or alternately.14

This syndrome is also associated with insomnia, decreased quality of life, and increased morbidity and mortality in end-stage renal disease.15 According to the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation, these are the five essential features of RLS:16

  • A strong urge to move your legs, which is caused by tingling sensations
  • Worsening of symptoms when resting or inactive
  • Fewer symptoms when moving or doing physical activities
  • Symptoms are only felt at night or worsen in the evening
  • Sleep disturbances that include failure to stay asleep and periodic limb movements (PLMs)

Most people who have restless legs syndrome also experience periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD), which can be identified by involuntary leg twitching or jerking movements during sleep. These usually occur every 10 to 60 seconds and may cause interrupted sleep.17

These symptoms may vary from one person to another — some may experience RLS once or twice a week, while for severe cases, it may occur more often.18 According to the National Health Service UK, although this condition is not life-threatening, its symptoms may worsen if the underlying cause isn’t identified and addressed.19

 

Restless Legs Syndrome in Children

Because they may not always be able to explain how they feel, diagnosing restless legs syndrome in children can be difficult. If they can’t describe it, a factor that may help determine childhood RLS is having a biological parent or sibling with RLS,20 in addition to the five essential features of RLS as mentioned above.

One of the common effects of RLS in children is sleep disturbance, as found by a 2007 study.21Periodic limb movement disorder is also likely to happen in children with restless legs syndrome.22

 

Be Cautious if You Experience Restless Legs Syndrome During Pregnancy

Restless legs syndrome during pregnancy is usually temporary, but it is considered a risk factor in developing chronic idiopathic restless legs syndrome.23 According to NHS, 1 in 5 pregnant women may experience the symptoms of RLS in their third trimester, but the condition wanes after they give birth.24 Aside from the symptoms mentioned, pregnant women with transient RLS exhibit lower hemoglobin levels and mean corpuscular volumes (smaller blood cells25).26

 

How to Get Rid of Restless Legs Syndrome: Treatment Options You Can Consider

One of the easiest ways to get rid of restless legs syndrome is through exercise, which was found to be effective in minimizing its symptoms.27 One study found that aerobic exercises may help alleviate RLS symptoms in people undergoing chronic hemodialysis,28 while yoga was found to help reduce stress and improve the mood and sleep quality of women with restless legs syndrome.29

Here are some lifestyle changes that you can follow to reduce the symptoms of restless legs syndrome:30,3132,33,34,35

  • Create and implement a sleeping schedule — Listen to your body so you would know when to schedule your best sleeping time — possibly when the symptoms are least pronounced. You may also check this article, “Military Method for Falling Asleep in Two Minutes, ” to learn how to fall asleep faster.
  • Balance exercises for older adults- Tight rope walk, flamingo stand, rock the boatDo moderate-intensity aerobic and leg-stretching exercises — Since inactivity may prompt the sensations caused by RLS, doing exercises such as hip rotation, hamstring stretch, straight leg stretch and knee-to-chest stretch may help alleviate the uneasy feeling.36 As found by a 2008 study, aerobic exercises may also help boost the functional ability, sleep quality and exercise capacity of people with RLS and on hemodialysis.37
  • Find an activity to distract your mind from RLS — To lessen the discomfort caused by the tingling sensations, keep yourself busy with activities such as solving puzzles, playing board games or doing needlework.
  • Exercises for Restless Leg Syndrome - Sit and Be Fit
  • Squeeze in quick leg exercises during breaks — If you’re working in an office, take a five-minute walk or do stretches at least every hour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additionally, here are some restless legs syndrome medications or approaches that were found to help ease its symptoms:

  • Rotigotine transdermal patch — In a 2010 study, rotigotine transdermal patches were found to help lessen the symptoms of RLS38 because of their dopamine agonist content, which are needed by the brain for movement control.39
  • Intravenous (IV) iron — The symptoms of RLS usually occur at night because this is when iron and dopamine levels dip.40 IV iron may help alleviate this,41 but remember to consult a health care professional first for proper dosing and to avoid the risk of Alzheimer’s disease due to a high iron level.42
  • Pneumatic compression devices (PCDs) — One study43 found that PCDs, which inflate to supply high pressure around the foot and calf, and then deflate, may help minimize RLS symptoms as they help increase blood flow.44

Before trying any of these, remember to seek your health care provider’s recommendations because some medications, such as opioids and benzodiazepines, may actually have more severe effects to your health.

How to Stop Restless Legs Syndrome Immediately

One of the easiest ways to stop restless legs syndrome immediately is by moving your legs. Constant movements such as walking back and forth, swaying your legs while sitting, and tossing and turning in bed may help minimize the sensations.46 Here are other ways on how to stop restless legs syndrome47,48

  • Place a cold or warm compress on your legs so you can be distracted from the tingling or crawling feeling
  • Take a walk to the bathroom, or simply get out of the bed
  • Gently massage your legs

 

Foods to Limit on a Restless Legs Syndrome Diet

While it may offer certain cognitive benefits53 to some people, caffeine, which stimulates the nervous system, may cause insomnia, anxiety and even depression among sensitive individuals. It was also found to be one of the major causes of restless legs syndrome.54 If you suffer from RLS, it’s best to limit your intake or completely avoid drinks and foods with caffeine such as tea, soft drinks and coffee.

Sugar intake must also be regulated to lessen the sensations felt at night,55 especially if the underlying cause of RLS is nerve damage induced by diabetes.56

 

Are There Supplements for Restless Legs Syndrome?

Aside from the remedies and lifestyle changes mentioned, some studies found that supplemental vitamin D,57 and magnesium in form of oral therapy58 and intravenous magnesium sulfate (for pregnant women)59 may be beneficial in minimizing the symptoms of RLS.

However, I recommend seeking your health care provider’s advice before considering supplementation. They may suggest certain supplements, especially if the underlying cause of your restless legs syndrome is vitamin deficiency.60

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Restless Legs Syndrome

Q: What triggers restless legs syndrome?

A: Restless legs syndrome may be triggered by the following factors: medicine, nerve damage, lack of iron or defective use of iron, kidney failure, increasing age, pregnancy and frequent blood donations.

Q: Can anxiety cause restless legs syndrome?

A: One study found anxiety symptoms in people with RLS, but it was not the implied underlying cause.66

Q: Does restless legs syndrome hurt?

A: According to people with RLS, only unpleasant feelings like throbbing, pulling, itching or crawling sensations in their legs may be felt.

Q: How do I stop restless legs syndrome at night?

A: Because movements may help lessen the sensations, I recommend taking a short walk to your kitchen, bathroom or any part of the house. You may also gently rub or massage your legs when you’re having symptoms.67

Q: What vitamins help restless legs syndrome?

A: Studies have found that vitamin D and magnesium may help minimize the symptoms of restless legs syndrome.

Q: What foods should you avoid if you have restless legs syndrome?

A: Generally, food and beverages with caffeine content must be avoided.

Q: Do bananas help minimize the symptoms of restless legs syndrome?

A: Yes. Bananas are rich in magnesium,68 which may help alleviate the crawling sensations and other symptoms of RLS.

Q: How do you calm restless legs naturally?

A: You may reduce the tingling or crawling sensations by moving constantly. You may simply walk, sway your legs or gently massage them.

Q: Can ibuprofen help restless legs syndrome?

A: Yes, ibuprofen may help ease its symptoms,69 but I advise you to follow the home remedies and lifestyle changes mentioned instead, because this medication may expose you to other dangers, such as increasing your risk of heart attack.70

 

J Mercola

P Carrothers

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Do You Have SIBO Symptoms? Here Is What You Need to Know!

Do You Have SIBO Symptoms?

Here Is What You Need to Know!

SIBO symptoms - Dr. Axe

Millions of Americans suffer from gastrointestinal symptoms and distress each year. Diagnoses of leaky gut syndrome, Crohn’s and celiac disease, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) continue to grow, and researchers still can’t quite put their fingers on why our digestive systems are under attack.

Recently, researchers have started to acknowledge there’s another digestive disorder lurking: small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO. It’s more prevalent than previously believed, and it occurs in many people suffering from IBS and certain other underlying conditions. (1)


What Is SIBO?

SIBO is the acronym for “small intestinal bacterial overgrowth,” defined as excessive bacteria in the small intestine, or small bowel. While bacteria naturally occurs throughout the digestive tract, in a healthy system, the small intestine has relatively low levels of bacteria; it’s supposed to be at highest concentrations in the colon. (2)

The small intestine is the longest section of the digestive tract. This is where the food intermingles with digestive juices, and the nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream. If SIBO is indicated, malabsorption of nutrients, particularly fat-soluble vitamins and iron, can quickly become a problem.

When in proper balance, the bacteria in the colon helps digest foods and the body absorb essential nutrients. However, when bacteria invades and takes over the small intestine, it can lead to poor nutrient absorption, symptoms commonly associated with IBS, and may even lead to damage of the stomach lining.

When you have SIBO, as food passes through the small intestine, the bacterial overgrowth interferes with the healthy digestive and absorption process. The bacterium associated with SIBO actually consumes some of the foods and nutrients, leading to unpleasant SIBO symptoms, including gas, bloating and pain.

Even when treating small intestinal bacterial overgrowth with antibiotics, relapse rate is high. This is a chronic condition that can be cured, but it takes patience, perseverance and a change in diet. In fact, SIBO treatment includes a healing diet, and some foods should be avoided until the gut flora is back in balance.


SIBO Symptoms

The indications of SIBO mirror the symptoms of other gastrointestinal disorders, including IBS. According to a study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, there’s good reason for the similar symptoms — there’s a definite association between IBS and SIBO. Researchers suggest that physicians give consideration of excluding SIBO before giving a definitive diagnosis of IBS. (3)

Common symptoms of SIBO and IBS include:

  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Malnutrition
  • Weight loss
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Rashes
  • Acne
  • Eczema
  • Asthma
  • Depression
  • Rosacea

Causes and Risk Factors of SIBO

There are a number of underlying conditions believed to contribute to small intestine bacterial overgrowth. These include aging, dysmotility (when muscles in the digestive system don’t work properly), chronic pancreatitis, diabetes, diverticulosis, a structural defect in the small intestine, injury, fistula, intestinal lymphoma and scleroderma. (4)

The use of certain medications, including immunosuppressant medications, proton pump inhibitors, immune system disorders, recent abdominal surgery and celiac disease are also associated with an increased risk for developing SIBO. Celiac disease can be of particular concern as it disturbs gut motility leading to improper small intestine functioning. (5)

According to a study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, 66 percent of patients with celiac disease who maintained a strict gluten-free diet tested positive for bacterial overgrowth.

In this study, patients were treated individually with a combination of antibiotics, prescription medications for worms and parasites, and a change in diet. All patients reported their symptoms were abated after SIBO treatment. (6)

Another underlying cause of SIBO symptoms is blind loop syndrome. This occurs when the small intestine actually forms a loop, causing food to bypass parts of the digestive tract. This causes food to move more slowly through the system, and the result is a breeding ground for bacteria. (7)

Metabolic disorders, including type 2 diabetes that’s not properly controlled, are believed to lead or contribute to certain gastrointestinal disorders. In fact, a study published in Diabetes & Metabolism indicates that SIBO was present in 43 percent of diabetics with chronic diabetes. (8)

Aging is another risk factor for developing small intestine bacterial overgrowth. As we age, the digestive tract slows down. It’s generally accepted that non-hospitalized adults over the age of 61 have a 15 percent prevalence rate of SIBO, in contrast with just under 6 percent in individuals 24 to 59 years old. A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society also found that over 30 percent of disabled older adults have SIBO. (9)

Rosacea, a skin condition that causes redness and rashes on the face, (10) is also associated with SIBO symptoms. Researchers from the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Genoa in Italy found that rosacea patients have a significantly higher prevalence rate of SIBO.

For those who suffer with rosacea, there’s good news — this study also indicates “an almost complete regression of their cutaneous lesions and maintained this excellent result for at least 9 months” after the eradication of SIBO. (11)

As you can see, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is linked, caused or associated with a wide array of conditions. Even those not thought to be related to the gastrointestinal tract seem to correlate with SIBO symptoms.


Breath Testing for SIBO

In order to diagnose SIBO, doctors use a hydrogen breath test to measure the amount of gas produced by the bacteria in the small intestine. The test measures the amount of hydrogen and methane in your body. This works because the only way the human body produces these gases is through the output of bacteria.

A solution containing one of the following sugars is used to complete the breath test:

  • Lactulose
  • Glucose
  • Xylose

First the patient participates in a special diet for two days prior to the test. Then the patient drinks a solution containing one of the sugars listed above, which feeds the bacteria. The breath test measures how much hydrogen and methane has been produced by the bacteria as a result. These results allow your health care professional to determine if you are experiencing SIBO. (1213)


Complications Associated with SIBO

SIBO, left untreated, can cause potentially serious health complications. It’s vital to get rid of the bacterial overgrowth as soon as possible.

Bacteria overgrowth in the small intestine can lead to malnutrition, one of the biggest concerns with SIBO. Essential nutrients, protein, carbohydrates and fats aren’t properly absorbed, causing deficiencies, including iron deficiency, vitamin B12 deficiency, calcium deficiency and deficiencies in the fat-soluble vitamins — vitamin A deficiency, vitamin D deficiencyvitamin E deficiency and vitamin K deficiency.

These deficiencies can lead to symptoms, including weakness, fatigue, confusion and damage to the central nervous symptom. (14)

Vitamin B12 deficiency is more common than most people believe. There are a number of factors that can lead to deficiency, besides SIBO. Vegetarians and vegans are at particular risk, as are individuals who have inadequate stomach acid or take medications that suppress stomach acid — such as proton pump inhibitors, H2 blockers and other antacids.(15)

As noted above, these commonly prescribed medications are linked to SIBO.

According to Harvard Medical School, the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can appear gradually — or very rapidly. Symptoms may include numbness or tingling in extremities, anemia, jaundice, decline in cognitive function, memory loss, fatigue, weakness, and even paranoia or hallucinations. (16)

In a report in the British Journal of Haematology, researchers indicate that megaloblastic anemia, a blood disorder that causes the loss of red blood cells, is directly related to bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. This is due to the malabsorption of vitamin B12. (17)

If you have SIBO or a vitamin B12 deficiency, it’s imperative to catch megaloblastic anemia quickly; prolonged vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to permanent nerve damage. (18)

If you experience any of these symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, in addition to any of the common SIBO symptoms mentioned above, take charge of your health, and get started ridding your body of small intestinal bacteria.

B12 can not!  be taken alone.  Many more symptoms and problems will happen if  you do.   Please do not get a B12 shot!  The chemicals in this medication will wreck you intestinal flora.

Treating SIBO

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is most often treated with antibiotics such as rifaximin (brand name Xifaxan). This helps reduce the problem bacteria but also kills off the healthy bacteria necessary for proper digestive functioning. For some patients with SIBO caused by blind loop syndrome, long-term antibiotic courses may be required. (19)

Even with antibiotics, SIBO is difficult to treat. In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, researchers concluded SIBO patients treated with antibiotics have a high recurrence rate and that gastrointestinal symptoms increased during the recurrences. (20)

The good news is that researchers have found that herbal remedies are as effective as three courses of antibiotic therapy in patients who don’t respond well to rifaximin. (21) This study mentions a variety of herbal remedies but doesn’t include dosing or further details. Oregano oil, berberine extract, wormwood oil, lemon balm oil and Indian barberry root extract are all mentioned in the study.

So how do you treat SIBO and SIBO symptoms? First, it’s important to identify if there’s an underlying cause. The next step is to start reversing the nutritional deficiencies. A healthy diet, nutritional supplements and lifestyle changes are necessary to get the body back in balance.

My first recommendation to overcome SIBO is to consume smaller amounts of food during meals. Spread your meals out at 5–6 smaller portions per day rather than 3 larger meals. Eating smaller meals allows you to digest foods more quickly, which is crucial to overcoming SIBO. Overeating is one of the worst things for SIBO because it causes food to sit longer in the stomach and can also damage gastric juice production. Low stomach acid production is one of the main contributing factors of SIBO because stomach acid kills off bacteria in your upper GI regions.

Next, one of the key things you can do today to help get rid of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is to start probiotic supplements and eat probiotic-rich foods immediately. A pilot study from researchers at the Center for Medical Education and Clinical Research in Buenos Aires, Argentina, found probiotics have a higher efficacy rate than metronidazole for individuals with SIBO. (22)

In this study, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus plantarum, Streptococcus faecalis and Bifidobacterium brevis were administered for five days to half of the study group, while the other half of the study group received antibiotics for five days. All participants ate the same diet, which limited consumption of dairy products, legumes, leafy green vegetables and alcohol.

The results? An astounding 82 percent of the group receiving probiotics reported clinical improvement, while only 52 percent of the group receiving antibiotics reported clinical improvement.

In addition to probiotics and combatting nutrient deficiencies, it’s important to change your diet.

Please do not take it upon yourself to figure out your condition or to treat yourself.  You must work with a holistic healthcare provider, and your primary care doctor may have one to recommend.    Look for a provider in preventative medicine, functional medicine, or regenerative medicine.

Dr Josh Axe

Dr Gemma Carney

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

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