Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

3 Hormones That Interfere With Your Weight Loss

Health and WEllness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

3 Hormones That Interfere With Your Weight Loss

3hormones

 

Can you relate to any of the following?

  • I follow all the rules, but I still can’t lose the weight.
  • I’m just getting old and my metabolism is slow.
  • It’s genetic. There’s nothing I can do.
  • Maybe I need to accept that I’m fat, and give up my skinny clothes.
  • Nutrition strategies that work for others don’t seem to apply to me.
  • I lose five pounds, and then I regain seven!

I hear these comments frequently from my patients and online community, and most of them don’t know an important secret: the reason for weight loss resistance is that our hormones are out of whack. When it comes to women and weight, hormones can make losing weight very challenging (if not impossible!) when they are out of balance.

Here are the top three hormones that are the most likely culprits when it comes to your difficulty with weight loss, and how you can begin to reset them.

1. Estrogen

Estrogen is the female hormone that gives women breasts and hips, and it keeps joints lubricated. Men have it too, but at far lower levels. But both men and women are at risk of estrogen overload, which is having too much estrogen in the body.

Here’s one action you can take today to lower your estrogen levels and help you lose weight: Eat a pound of vegetables per day. The fiber from the vegetables will help excrete estrogen so it doesn’t keep circulating in your body like bad karma.

Aim for 35 to 45 grams of fiber per day for women, and 40 to 50 grams per day for men, but slowly increase your fiber intake in 5-gram increments each day to get to the goal without gas or bloating.

2. Insulin

One in two Americans have some degree of diabesity, which is diabetes plus obesity. When you’re overweight or skinny fat (normal weight but you have too much fat mass), insulin becomes imbalanced and your cells become numb to the hormone. As a result, you experience blood sugar highs and lows, and you store fat because your glucose regulator is broken.
There are many ways to reset your insulin, but a personal favorite is to drink filtered water with apple cider vinegar. A recent study found that consuming two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before a high carb meal significantly reduces blood glucose levels in people with insulin resistance1. In fact, apple cider vinegar might work as well as prescription drugs at fixing your blood sugar regulation2.

3. Cortisol

You make cortisol in response to stress, but most of us run around stressed all the time. All those stress hormones wreak havoc over time, and make you store fat — especially in your belly. High cortisol is also linked to depression, food addiction, and sugar cravings. What’s the net result? You get fat.

To reset your cortisol, you need to hit the pause button on your caffeine intake. Slowly wean off caffeine over three days, and notice how your sleep and stress levels improve! There are many more targeted suggestions in my new book, but kick the caffeine first.

My mission is to help people who struggle with weight issues from hormone imbalance. Understanding that permanent weight loss occurs as a result of hormone balance has helped so many of my patients and online community finally get their weight under control and break through weight loss resistance.

When you follow the right program, guided by a trusted mentor and armed with the best knowledge, it’s possible to lose the weight that’s burdened you for so long — and keep it off forever.

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

An Avocado a Day?

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

An Avacado a Day?

avacadoaday

You know caffeine and sugar don’t help your bipolar disorder, but what about grapefruit? Find out why certain foods can derail your treatment and why others, like eggs and dark leafy vegetables, may even decrease need for medication.

There are over 172 different types of bi-polar disorder.  They can be less severe, such as a hormonal imbalance, to a genetic disorder.  Why do they do this?  It is all about billing.  There are no billing mistakes if they only have to compute on identity number.

Following a bipolar disorder diagnosis ,or other mental health diagnosis,  most doctors recommend a regimen of medication and therapy — the best lines of defense against mood disorders. But these treatments can take weeks to reach their full effect, and they are not the only solutions for managing your symptoms and keeping your moods in line.

 

As it turns out, following a proper sleep schedule, getting plenty of exercise, and eating the right foods can do wonders for bipolar symptoms — and improve your overall health in the process.

 

A healthy bipolar disorder diet includes the following:

 

Omega-3s: Multiple studies1 have shown that Omega-3 fatty acids like the kinds found in fish and fish oil supplements can help decrease the feelings of depression so common in bipolar patients. Vegetarian? Try getting your Omega-3s from eggs or nuts instead.

 

Magnesium: Magnesium — found in whole grains, beans, and dark leafy vegetables like spinach — has been shown to have an effect similar to lithium, the most common bipolar medication.2 Upping your intake of magnesium, a natural mood stabilizer, may decrease your need for medication. (It should be noted, however, that magnesium cannot replace lithium entirely.)

 

Salt: Seems counterintuitive, right? If you have bipolar disorder, don’t let your salt intake get too low, and definitely don’t cut out salt entirely — salt is very necessary to regulate the levels of bipolar medication in your bloodstream.

 

Healthy Fats: Healthy fats like those found in avocados and olive oil can help keep you feeling full longer, and decrease your cravings for the “foods to avoid” listed below.

 

Individuals with bipolar disorder should cut back on the following:

 

Caffeine: Caffeine/Soda or Pop, and other stimulants can kick mania up a notch. When experiencing a manic phase, avoid coffee, soda, and energy drinks whenever possible. Try herbal teas or infused water instead — the herbs can give you a natural energy boost to overcome slumps.

 

Sugar: Sugar highs and lows can make an already unbalanced mood even more erratic, and sugar crashes can make a depressive phase much worse. If you really need something sweet, reach for fruit — the natural sugars won’t cause such a drastic blood sugar spike.

 

Refined Carbohydrates: Bipolar patients may be more prone to obesity, since imbalances of seratonin in their brains may lead them to crave more unhealthy carbohydrates. Ditch the processed junk and get your carbs from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables instead.

 

Alcohol: Alcohol and bipolar disorder just don’t mix. Not only can alcohol interact poorly with psychiatric medications, it can also disrupt sleep — bad news for an already high-strung bipolar person. Bipolar patients are also more likely than neurotypical people to develop drug or alcohol addictions. In other words, alcohol is not worth the risk. Watch out for toothpaste and mouthwash, which are filled with alcohol.

 

Grapefruit/Oranges: Talk to your doctor about your specific situation, but some bipolar medications — particularly anticonvulsants — interact poorly with grapefruit/oranges and grapefruit orange and lemon juice.

 

Food can’t cure your bipolar disorder, and it’s always best to talk to your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. But proper diet and a healthy lifestyle can definitely help get your symptoms under control — and your life back on track.

 

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Red Flag for Early Learning Disabilities

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

Red Flag for Early Learning Disabilities

 

redflag

 

Learning a new subject may involve many mistakes. But when they are too frequent and long-lasting, they may be symptoms of a learning disorder, the National Institutes of Health says.

A learning disability isn’t a measure of how smart a child is. It’s caused by a difference in the brain that’s present from birth, or shortly after. This affects how the brain handles information, and may cause problems with reading, writing and math.

 

Some of the early warning signs of a preschooler having a learning disability.

Trouble interacting with others, plays alone

Easily frustrated

Hard to manage, temper tantrums

Has difficulty following directions or focusing for long periods of time.

 

The agency says your child should be evaluated for a learning disability if the child has:

 

Difficulty reading or writing.

Issues with learning basic math concepts.

Difficulty remembering.

Trouble following directions.

Problems staying organized.

 

Do not count on a teacher to determine things by this behavior.  They have their own experiences with this, but can not tell the difference with a learning disability or an early mental health disorder.

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Asian Chicken Stir-Fry

Health and WEllness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Asian Chicken Stir-Fry

 

Asian Chicken Stir-Fry

Asian cuisine is often discouraged in people who are following low-sodium diets since many of the traditional sauces pack a significant salt load. This recipe uses reduced sodium soy sauce, which adds great flavor when mixed with other lower sodium seasoning options such as ginger and garlic.

People with chronic kidney disease often say that they feel limited in the vegetables they can eat. This is mostly due to the potassium content many vegetables have. This recipe provides a good mix of vegetables​ but keeps the portions moderate enough to keep potassium levels in check. In addition, vegetables provide fiber, which helps people with CKD to more efficiently excrete potassium.​

Ingredients

  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 cups baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 cup red bell pepper
  • ½ cup white onion
  • 3 cups cooked white rice (3/4 cups dry)
  • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ pound (8 oz) boneless chicken breast

Preparation

1. Chop your broccoli, mushrooms ,red pepper, and onion.

2. Cook rice according to package directions, omitting any butter or salt.

3. Blend soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, and brown sugar in a small blender.

4. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped vegetables and sauté until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Set aside.

5. Cut chicken into strips. Cook your chicken in the same pan as the vegetables were in over medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side.

6. Add vegetables to the pan with the chicken. Add sauce and mix well.

7. Serve each plate with ¾ cup cooked rice and top with chicken/vegetables mixture.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

Tofu or shrimp are additional protein options that work well in this dish.

Brown rice should be substituted if you do not have issues with high potassium or phosphorus in your blood.

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Creamy Southwest Chicken

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Creamy Southwest Chicken : Low Carb

southwestshicken-56d5d9be3df78cfb37da4765

 

Low carb chicken recipes are a must-have for many on low carb diets. This creamy chicken skillet dish is one you can have on the table in 20 minutes, from prep time to finished product, using canned green chilies and shredded cheese for enhanced flavor. This is also one of those dishes you can still serve to family members who may not be on the low carb diet you’re on. Just add their desired side dish, with your low carb options at the same time. The chilies are mild, so this isn’t a spicy dish, but it is a tasty one. Serve with refried beans and/or a salad and sliced avocado. To give it some heat and spice things up, add red pepper flakes or sriracha.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium chicken breast (boneless, skinless)
  • 1/4 cup onion (minced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 4.5 ounce can green chiles (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup cheddar (shredded, or jack cheese)

Preparation

1) Heat large skillet with oil over medium heat.

2) Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper. Saute until brown on both sides, adding onions about ​halfway through.

3) Add garlic and cook for another minute.

4) If needed, deglaze the pan with a little water.

5) Add green chilies and cream, and simmer until chicken is done on both sides and the sauce is thickened.

6) Top with shredded cheddar or jack cheese, and serve when cheese melts.

Optional garnish: avocado slices or cilantro.

Suggested Additions: Add low carb veggies such as chopped broccoli or cauliflower to boost fiber; use feta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes instead of cheddar or jack.

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Foods, Uncategorized

Chicken Marsala

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Healthier Chicken Marsala

chickenmarsala-56a5c27f5f9b58b7d0de59eb

Marsala is a popular wine in Sicily, Italy. Chicken Marsala is made with a wine reduction sauce and originated in the late 1800’s with families living in Italy. As restaurants picked up on the easy-to-make dish, Americans took notice, and it is now popular in the United States. The meat in Chicken Marsala (or Veal Marsala) is pounded flat and floured. While you can sprinkle some flour over the meat to help in browning, this recipe doesn’t include it). You can use chicken breast tenderloins (quicker and less expensive) as a simple trick to make this dish cook up even quicker. Be sure to use dry Marsala wine, not sweet, to save calories.

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast cutlets
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 cup crimini or porcini mushroom slices
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry Marsala wine
  • 2 tablespoon minced Italian (flat leaf) parsley
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (or chicken bouillon equivalent)

 

Preparation

1. If desired, pound chicken between two pieces of wax paper or plastic (use anything from an old wine bottle to a small heavy pot for this). Season chicken with salt and pepper.

2. Heat oil in a skillet and add chicken. Pan fry chicken for 5 minutes on each side until golden, turning once until done. Remove, and cover with foil to keep warm.

3. Add onion and mushrooms to the pan (add a little more oil if needed), cook until onion is translucent and mushrooms are soft(approximately 5 minutes).

4. Add wine to pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

5. At this point, judge the amount of liquid for sauce for chicken. If you need more, add a bit of broth. Taste, and adjust seasonings.

6. Pour vegetables and sauce over chicken, and sprinkle with parsley.

 

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Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Foods to Eat When You Have Hypothyrodism

Health and WEllness Associates
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Foods to Eat When You Have Hypothyrodism

 

Eat Right to Support Thyroid Function

When you have hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, symptoms can include fatigue, depression, constipation, and other more serious health concerns. Fortunately, eating certain foods can help boost the effectiveness of your thyroid — a little butterfly-shaped gland in your neck with a big role in how well your body works.

The thyroid produces hormones that regulate mood, metabolism, energy levels, body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. Hypothyroidism occurs when this gland isn’t producing enough hormones. Along with taking your thyroid medication, you can bolster thyroid function with a well-balanced diet that includes lots of produce and protein, among other healthy foods, says Gregory B. Dodell, MD, an endocrinologist in New York City. The next time you’re at the grocery store, look for these seven nutrient-rich foods.

salmon

Fish

The omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish such as wild salmon, trout, tuna, or sardines make this food an excellent choice for lunch or dinner, says Virginia Turner, MS, RD, LDN, clinical nutrition manager at The University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. Unmanaged hypothyroidism can increase the risk for heart disease as a result of higher levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad” cholesterol. “Omega-3s are known to decrease inflammation, help with immunity, and lower the risk for heart disease,” she adds. Fish is also a good source of the nutrient selenium, which is most concentrated in the thyroid. Selenium also helps decrease inflammation.

nuts

Nuts

Another great source of selenium, nuts make a handy snack that you can take anywhere. They also go well in salads or stir-fries. Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts are all particularly high in selenium, which helps the thyroid function properly. With Brazil nuts, you only need to eat one or two; with other nuts, a small handful is enough to get your daily nutrients — and be sure to keep an eye on portion size, as nuts are also very high fat.

wholegrain.jpg

Whole Grains

Constipation is a common symptom of hypothyroidism. Whole-grain foods such as cereal, bread, pasta, and rice are high in nutrients in addition to fiber, which can help with bowel regularity. However, fiber can interfere with synthetic thyroid hormones, cautions Turner. Some people with hypothyroidism choose to avoid whole-grains altogether, but if you do choose to eat them, “the recommendation is to take your thyroid medication several hours before or after eating foods rich in dietary fiber,” she says.

fruitsandvegies.jpg

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

An early symptom of hypothyroidism is weight gain. Low-calorie, high-density foods such as fresh produce are the cornerstone of every successful weight loss program. Include either fresh fruits or veggies at each meal, if possible. Specific foods such as blueberries, cherries, sweet potatoes, and green peppers are also rich in antioxidants, nutrients that are known to lower risk for heart disease.

However, people with hypothyroidism may want to limit their intake of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage, because they block thyroid function.

seaweed.jpg

Seaweed

Seaweed has a high concentration of iodine, an essential nutrient for thyroid function. “Iodine is the precursor for the production of thyroid hormone,” Dr. Dodell explains. Seaweed, packaged as nori, wakame, and dulse, can be used in sushi, soups, and salads. Another plus: Seaweed offers nutritional benefits of fiber, calcium, and vitamins A, B, C, E, and K.

It is possible to have too much iodine, which can worsen thyroid disease, Dodell cautions. However, according to the American Thyroid Association the likelihood of this is greater if you’re taking supplements that contain iodine. Be sure to talk with your physician before increasing your iodine intake.

 

Dairy as in EGGS

There is an association between vitamin D deficiency and Hashimoto’s disease, the most common cause of hypothyroidism, according to a study in the issue of August 2011 issue of the journal “Thyroid”. Eggs not only has added vitamin D, but also significant amounts of calcium, protein, and iodine. Because Hashimoto’s may also lead to changes that contribute to gut issues like heartburn, eggs with good bacteria may help regulate other bacteria, Dodell says.

beans

Beans

An inexpensive and versatile food, beans are a great source for sustained energy, which can be helpful if hypothyroidism leaves you feeling drained. Beans contain protein, antioxidants, complex carbohydrates, and loads of vitamins and minerals. They are also high in fiber, which can be beneficial if you suffer with constipation, a common side effect of hypothyroidism. If you’re new to beans, there are many varieties to try, all of which can be used as the base for entrees, as side dishes, and to enhance soups, salads, and stews. Just be sure not to overdo it — guidelines recommend that adults get 20 to 35 grams of fiber each day, but excess fiber can interfere with your hypothyroidism treatment.

 

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Vaccine Scandal – A Must Read!

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS – Telehealth

 

China’s vaccine scandal explodes as one million doses now found to be maiming Chinese children… total cover-up by the media

 

North American gets 30% of their vaccines from China

Baby-Asian-Vaccine-Polio-Doctor-Illness-Mmr.jpg

 

The Chinese government has admitted that hundreds of thousands more doses of children’s vaccines are faulty, bringing the total number of vaccines known to be defective there to nearly one million.

The State Council of China announced that another batch of vaccines for diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT) that were produced by the firm Changchun Changsheng Biotechnology, were considered “substandard.” Most of the doses were sold to authorities in the Shandong province in northeastern China, and some have already been given to children.

The latest batch of 247,200 vaccines joins the 253,338 defective DPT vaccines from the same company that were discovered last November, along with more than 400,000 produced by a different company.

According to the South China Morning Post, 76 percent of those children who were given injections from the first substandard batch have already been treated by doctors, and there are now plans in place to treat those who received injections from the second batch.

Although the Chinese government has done its best to prevent people from talking about the crisis, Chinese social media is still full of conversation about the topic. There have also been reports that the company used expired ingredients and altered testing records.

Last month, thousands of enraged parents expressed their anger and disappointment that their country has let them down when it comes to their handling of vaccines. The Chinese president promised swift action and a prompt investigation, yet the problem continues.

Critics have accused the government of being more concerned about saving face than making things right with the children who were subjected to the faulty vaccines. In the Nikkei Asian Review, Yanzhong Huang writes:

“Officials have reportedly restricted news coverage and censors have swiftly scrubbed away widely shared essays and posts criticizing the government or spreading bad news. Even news reports from state-owned publications, such as an investigation into Wuhan Institute’s substandard vaccines by the newspaper Economic Observer, have been taken down.”

He called for Beijing to improve vaccine safety and for the public and the press to get involved in exposing violators. He said that whistleblowers should be viewed as heroes rather than troublemakers.

Arrests, recalls issued in vaccine scandal

Some Changsheng Biotechnology personnel have already been arrested in connection with the problem. Chairwoman Gao Junfang, who is also known as the “Vaccine Queen” and considered one of China’s wealthiest women, is among the 18 people who have been arrested so far. The mayor of the drug manufacturer’s home city, Changchun, has also been arrested, along with the deputy governor of the Jilin province where the company is located and the national drug regulator’s deputy director.

Where is the media outrage?

It’s not just the Chinese government that is trying to keep the scandal quiet; many American mainstream news outlets are also ignoring the situation or keeping their coverage to a minimum, which isn’t surprising given their general reluctance to report on anything that could cast the vaccine industry in a negative light.

There isn’t any word on injuries caused by the vaccines, but vaccines have been impounded and production has been suspended. There has also been a recall of vaccine products from foreign markets, but details are scarce.

Chinese parents had already lost a great degree of confidence in the government after a scandal a few years ago in which children were disabled and even killed by vaccines that were ruined after they had been transported and stored improperly. This latest incident won’t do much to restore their faith.

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized, Vitamins and Supplements

The Nightmare Pill!

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS – Telehealth

 

1 in 6 Women Take This Nightmare Pill While Many Studies Suggest It’s Useless

 

Use of Antidepressants Continue to Rise

wingsandclaws

 

Major depression is one of the most common disorders in the U.S., with 16 million adults reporting at least one major depressive episode in the past year. When you look at all forms of depression, that number goes even higher. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 24 million Americans experience some form of depression, which can interfere with personal and work relationships, reduce work or academic performance and affect physical health.

 

Depression reduces your ability to care for yourself properly and make adequate decisions about your health, including nutrition and sleep. Imbalances in nutrition, weight fluctuations and poor sleep habits may lead to compromised immune function.

 

If ignored, depression can become chronic and can lead to self-harming behaviors such as drug or alcohol abuse6 and even be terminal if the person commits suicide. Up to 70 percent of people who commit suicide are clinically depressed, and 90 percent of people who struggle with suicidal thoughts experience a combination of depression and substance abuse.

 

Antidepressant Use Continues to Rise

According to the latest statistics use of antidepressants in the U.S. rose by 65 percent between 1999 and 2014. As of 2017:

 

  • Nearly 1 in 8 Americans (13 percent) over the age of 12 reported being on antidepressant medication

 

  • 1 in 6 women (16.5 percent) reported antidepressant use compared to 1 in 11 men (9 percent)

 

  • About one-quarter of those who had taken an antidepressant in the past month reported being on them for 10 years or more

 

  • Caucasians were more than three times more likely to use antidepressants than Blacks, Hispanics or Asians (16.5 percent compared to 5.6 percent, 5 percent and 3.3 percent respectively)

 

In Scotland, researchers also warn that antidepressant use among children under the age of 12 has risen dramatically.13 Between 2009 and 2016, use in this age group quadrupled. Use among children under 18 doubled in the same time frame.

 

Research Reveals Antidepressants Are Rarely the Right Answer

Unfortunately, the most widely used remedy for depression is also among the least effective. In addition to a long list of potential side effects (which include worsening depression and suicide), 40 percent of people with major depressive disorder treated with antidepressants do not achieve full remission.16

 

Perhaps more importantly, studies have repeatedly shown antidepressants work no better than placebo for mild to moderate depression, so you’re taking grave risks for a very small chance of benefit. As noted in a 2014 paper on antidepressants and the placebo effect:

 

“Antidepressants are supposed to work by fixing a chemical imbalance, specifically, a lack of serotonin in the brain … But analyses of the published data and the unpublished data that were hidden by drug companies reveals that most (if not all) of the benefits are due to the placebo effect …

 

Analyzing the data we had found, we were not surprised to find a substantial placebo effect on depression. What surprised us was how small the drug effect was. Seventy-five percent of the improvement in the drug group also occurred when people were give dummy pills with no active ingredient in them.

 

The serotonin theory is as close as any theory in the history of science to having been proved wrong. Instead of curing depression, popular antidepressants may induce a biological vulnerability making people more likely to become depressed in the future.”

 

Placebo Effect Accounts for 82 Percent of Drug Response

The author of that 2014 study, Irving Kirsch, is a psychotherapist who has performed a number of analyses on antidepressants. In 2002, his team filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), asking for the trial data provided by drug companies as part of the drug approval process.

 

The FDA requires drug companies to provide data on all clinical trials they’ve sponsored, including unpublished trials. As it turned out, nearly half of all clinical trials on antidepressants remained unpublished. When both published and unpublished trials were included, 57 percent showed the drug had no clinical benefit over placebo. What’s more, the placebo response actually accounted for 82 PERCENT of the beneficial response to antidepressants!

 

These results were reproduced in a 2010 study using another, even larger set of FDA trial data. According to Kirsch, “Once again, 82 percent of the drug response was duplicated by placebo.” A major benefit of evaluating FDA trial data was that all of the trials used the same primary measure of depression, which made the drug-to-placebo effects very easy to identify and compare.

 

The primary measure of depression used in these studies was the Hamilton depression scale, a 17-item scale with a possible score of 0 to 53 points. The higher your score, the more severe your depression. Importantly, the mean difference between antidepressants and placebo was less than two points (1.8) on this scale, which is considered clinically insignificant.

 

To illustrate just how insignificant of a difference this is, you can score a 6-point difference simply by changing sleep patterns without any reported change in other depressive symptoms.

 

EMFs — A Not Well-Known Cause of Anxiety and Depression

About one year ago Dr. Martin Pall published a review in the Journal of Neuroanatomy showing how microwave radiation from cell phones, Wi-Fi routers and computers and tablets not in airplane mode is clearly associated with many neuropsychiatric disorders. I recently did an interview with him that will air on September 3. In the meantime, you can view my interview on EMFs that I discussed on my recent trip to visit with Dave Asprey, founder and CEO of Bulletproof.

 

These microwave EMFs increase intracellular calcium through voltage gated calcium channels (VGCCs) and the tissue with the highest density of VGCCs is the brain. Once these VGCCs are stimulated they also cause the release of neurotransmitters and neuroendocrine hormones leading to not only anxiety and depression, but neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and brain cancer.

 

So, if you struggle with anxiety or depression, be sure to limit your exposure to wireless technology. Simple measures include turning your Wi-Fi off at night, not carrying your cellphone on your body and not keeping portable phones, cellphones and other electric devices in your bedroom.

 

Studies have also confirmed the therapeutic effects of spending time in nature.  Ecotherapy has been shown to lower stress, improve mood and significantly reduce symptoms of depression. Outdoor activities could be just about anything, from walking a nature trail to gardening, or simply taking your exercise outdoors.

 

Breath work such as the Buteyko breathing technique also has enormous psychological benefits and can quickly reduce anxiety by increasing the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in your body. These three techniques are a perfect complement to each other, and cost nothing. Simply turn off your electronics, head outside and practice proper breathing.

 

America Struggles With Notable Decline in Mental Health 

While prescriptions for psychiatric drugs keep increasing (when you include other drugs beside antidepressants, such as anti-anxiety drugs, nearly 17 percent of American adults are medicated, several parameters show mental health in the U.S. is declining.

 

Suicide rates are at a 30-year high, mental disorders are now the second most common cause of disability, having risen sharply since 1980, and prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths have become a public health emergency. While opioid pain killers are among the most lethal, psychiatric drugs also take their toll. In 2013, anti-anxiety benzodiazepine drugs accounted for nearly one-third of prescription overdose deaths.

 

All of these statistics suggest that far from being helpful, antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs are making the situation worse. Sure, these drugs may be helpful for a small minority of people with very severe mental health problems, such as schizophrenia, but clearly, the vast majority of people using these drugs do not suffer from severe psychiatric illness.

 

Most are struggling with sadness, grief, anxiety, “the blues” and depression, which are in many ways part of your body’s communication system, revealing nutritional or sunlight deficiencies and/or spiritual disconnect, for example. The underlying reasons for these kinds of troubles are manifold, but you can be sure that, whatever the cause, an antidepressant will not correct it.

 

Women also need to be mindful of the fact that use of antidepressants during pregnancy can significantly increase your chances of having a child with autism. One study found antidepressant use during the second or third trimester was associated with an 87 percent increased risk of autism. The use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors was associated with double the risk of autism in the child, while the use of two or more antidepressants increased the risk more than fourfold.

 

Which Treatments Actually Work?

If you’re at all interested in following science-based recommendations, you’d place antidepressants at the very bottom of your list of treatment candidates. Far more effective treatments for depression include:

 

  • Exercise — A number of studies have shown exercise outperforms drug treatment. Exercise helps create new GABA-producing neurons that help induce a natural state of calm, and boosts serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which helps buffer the effects of stress.

 

Studies have shown there is a strong correlation between improved mood and aerobic capacity, but even gentle forms of exercise can be effective. Yoga, for example, has received particular attention in a number of studies. A study published this spring found 90-minute yoga sessions three times a week reduced symptom of major depression by at least 50 percent.30

 

  • Nutritional intervention — Keeping inflammation in check is an important part of any effective treatment plan. If you’re gluten sensitive, you will need to remove all gluten from your diet. A food sensitivity test can help ascertain this. Reducing lectins may also be a good idea. As a general guideline, eating a whole food diet as described in my optimal nutrition plan can go a long way toward lowering your inflammation level. Certain nutritional deficiencies are also notorious contributors to depression, especially:

 

◦ Omega-3 fats. I recommend getting an omega-3 index test to make sure you’re getting enough. Ideally, you want your omega-3 index to be 8 percent or higher.

 

◦ B vitamins (including B1, B2, B3, B6, B8 and B12). Low dietary folate can raise your risk by as much as 300 percent. One of the most recent studies showing the importance of vitamin deficiencies in depression involved suicidal teens. Most turned out to be deficient in cerebral folate and all of them showed improvement after treatment with folinic acid.

 

  • Vitamin D — Studies have shown vitamin D deficiency can predispose you to depression and that depression can respond favorably to optimizing your vitamin D stores, ideally by getting sensible sun exposure.In one such study, people with a vitamin D level below 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) had an 85 percent increased risk of depression compared to those with a level greater than 30 ng/mL.

 

A double-blind randomized trial38 published in 2008 concluded that supplementing with high doses of vitamin D “seems to ameliorate [depression] symptoms indicating a possible causal relationship. “Recent research39 also claims that low vitamin D levels appear to be associated with suicide attempts. For optimal health, make sure your vitamin D level is between 40 and 60 ng/mL year-round. Ideally, get a vitamin D test at least twice a year to monitor your level.

 

  • Probiotics — Keeping your gut microbiome healthy also has a significant effect on your moods, emotions and brain. You can read more in my previous article, “Mental Health May Depend on the Health of Your Gut Flora.”

 

  • Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) — EFT is a form of psychological acupressure that has been shown to be quite effective for depression and anxiety.40,41,42,43 For serious or complex issues, seek out a qualified health care professional that is trained in EFT44 to guide you through the process. That said, for most of you with depression symptoms, this is a technique you can learn to do effectively on your own.

 

One of my new favorites.  My mom passed away unexpectedly in July and I am very grateful she did not have cancer or struggles with any abuses from the conventional health system that many of our readers do. However, losing my mother was a major challenge in grief management for me.

 

I realize grief is not depression but the book “Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender”45 by Dr. David Hawkins, was one of the best books I have read this year and helped teach me the useful tool of how to free yourself of painful emotions. I have read many of Hawkins’ previous books but this was his last one as he also recently passed.

 

Other Helpful Treatment Strategies

Here are several other strategies that can help improve your mental health:46

 

Clean up your sleep hygiene

 

Make sure you’re getting enough high-quality sleep, as sleep is essential for optimal mood and mental health. A fitness tracker that tracks your sleep can be a useful tool. The inability to fall asleep and stay asleep can be due to elevated cortisol levels, so if you have trouble sleeping, you may want to get your saliva cortisol level tested with an Adrenal Stress Index test.

 

If you’re already taking hormones, you can try applying a small dab of progesterone cream on your neck or face when you awaken during the night and can’t call back to sleep. Another alternative is to take adaptogens, herbal products that help lower cortisol and adjust your body to stress. There are also other excellent herbs and amino acids that help you to fall asleep and stay asleep. Meditation can also help.

Optimize your gut health

 

A number of studies have confirmed gastrointestinal inflammation can play a critical role in the development of depression. Optimizing your gut microbiome will also help regulate a number of neurotransmitters and mood-related hormones, including GABA and corticosterone, resulting in reduced anxiety and depression-related behavior.

 

To nourish your gut microbiome, be sure to eat plenty of fresh vegetables and traditionally fermented foods. Healthy choices include fermented vegetables, lassi, kefir and natto. If you do not eat fermented foods on a regular basis, taking a high-quality probiotic supplement is recommended.

 

Also remember to severely limit sugars, especially fructose, as well as grains, to rebalance your gut flora. As a standard recommendation, I suggest limiting your daily fructose consumption from all sources to 25 grams per day or less.

Visualization

 

Visualization and guided imagery have been used for decades by elite athletes prior to an event, successful business people and cancer patients — all to achieve better results through convincing your mind you have already achieved successful results. Similar success has been found in people with depression.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

 

CBT has been used successfully to treat depression. This therapy assumes mood is related to the pattern of thought. CBT attempts to change mood and reverse depression by directing your thought patterns.

Make sure your cholesterol levels aren’t too low for optimal mental health

 

You may also want to check your cholesterol to make sure it’s not too low. Low cholesterol is linked to dramatically increased rates of suicide, as well as aggression toward others. This increased expression of violence toward self and others may be due to the fact that low membrane cholesterol decreases the number of serotonin receptors in the brain, which are approximately 30 percent cholesterol by weight.

 

Lower serum cholesterol concentrations therefore may contribute to decreasing brain serotonin, which not only contributes to suicidal-associated depression, but prevents the suppression of aggressive behavior and violence toward self and others.

Helpful supplements

 

A number of herbs and supplements can be used in lieu of drugs to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. These include:

 

  • St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum). This medicinal plant has a long historical use for depression, and is thought to work similarly to antidepressants, raising brain chemicals associated with mood such as serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline.

 

  • S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe). SAMe is an amino acid derivative that occurs naturally in all cells. It plays a role in many biological reactions by transferring its methyl group to DNA, proteins, phospholipids and biogenic amines. Several scientific studies indicate that SAMe may be useful in the treatment of depression.

 

  • 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP). 5-HTP is another natural alternative to traditional antidepressants. When your body sets about manufacturing serotonin, it first makes 5-HTP. Taking 5-HTP as a supplement may raise serotonin levels. Evidence suggests 5-HTP outperforms a placebo when it comes to alleviating depression, which is more than can be said about antidepressants.

 

  • XingPiJieYu. This Chinese herb, available from doctors of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), has been found to reduce the effects of “chronic and unpredictable stress,” thereby lowering your risk of depression.

Guidelines for Safe Drug Withdrawal

If you’re currently on an antidepressant and want to get off it, ideally, you’ll want to have the cooperation of your prescribing physician. It would also be wise to do some homework on how to best proceed. Dr. Joseph Glenmullen from Harvard has written a helpful book on how to withdraw called “The Antidepressant Solution: A Step-by-Step Guide to Overcoming Antidepressant Withdrawal, Dependence, and Addiction.”

 

You can also turn to an organization with a referral list of doctors who practice more biologically or naturally, such as the American College for Advancement in Medicine at http://www.ACAM.org. A holistic psychiatrist will have a number of treatment options in their tool box that conventional doctors do not, and will typically be familiar with nutritional supplementation.

 

Once you have the cooperation of your prescribing physician, start lowering the dosage of the medication you’re taking. There are protocols for gradually reducing the dose that your doctor should be well aware of. At the same time, it may be wise to add in a multivitamin and/or other nutritional supplements or herbs. Again, your best bet would be to work with a holistic psychiatrist who is well-versed in the use of nutritional support.

 

If you have a friend or family member who struggles with depression, perhaps one of the most helpful things you can do is to help guide them toward healthier eating and lifestyle habits, as making changes can be particularly difficult when you’re feeling blue — or worse, suicidal. Encourage them to unplug and meet you outside for walks. We should not underestimate the power of human connection, and the power of connection with nature. Both, I believe, are essential for mental health and emotional stability.

 

If you are feeling desperate or have any thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a toll-free number: 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or call 911, or simply go to your nearest hospital emergency department. You cannot make long-term plans for lifestyle changes when you are in the middle of a crisis.

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Lobster

Health and WEllness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Lobster

caulliflowermacandcheesewithlobster

 

Mac and cheese may be a beloved staple from our childhoods, but this lower carb switch-up with a luxurious twist makes it the perfect dish for your next dinner party! This “mac” and cheese recipe featuring a crisped top, cheesy cauliflower and poached lobster comes to us from the ADA’s Diabetes Food Hub, and we can’t wait for you to make it!

 

Ingredients

Cooking spray

1 cauliflower, trimmed into 8 cups florets

5 cups water

2 4-oz frozen lobster tails (or 1 cup chopped imitation lobster meat)

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

2 cups milk (fat free)

1 pinch ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp hot sauce

3 oz colby jack cheese (reduced fat)

4 oz cream cheese (fat free)

1/2 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs

lobstermac-cheese_rcp

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat in a 9×13-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

Place cauliflower florets in a large microwave-safe dish. Pour 1 cup of water over the cauliflower and cover. Microwave for 12 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. Drain and then keep warm.

While cauliflower is microwaving: If using lobster tails, bring 4 cups of water to a boil and then reduce until water is just barely simmering. Add the lobster tails to the water and poach for 7 minutes. Remove the tails from the water to cool slightly. Cut the lobster tails, remove the meat from the tails and chop. Makes about a cup of lobster meat.

Add olive oil to saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the milk while whisking. Add the nutmeg, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 3 minutes.

Add the Colby-jack and cream cheeses and stir until melted.

Add the cauliflower to the baking dish. Use a fork to break up the florets into 1-inch or smaller pieces.

Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower and stir to coat.

Sprinkle the lobster over the cauliflower and stir to coat.

Sprinkle the panko bread crumbs evenly over the top of the casserole and then spray the top of the panko with cooking spray.

Bake for 30 minutes.

 

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