Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Cervical Cancer

 

ladyslippergroup.jpg

 

The good news is the number of cervical cancer cases is

falling yearly.  If you have a family history

of cervical cancer, including vulva and labia, then there are things you can do

to prevent it from happening. 

Cutting your risk with grapes and berries

 

Eating one cup of grapes, strawberries or blueberries, or

drinking 4 oz. of pomegranate juice daily cuts your risk of ever getting

cervical cancer. Compounds in these fruits help stop abnormal growth from

spreading making it easier for your immune system to find and destroy them

quickly.
If you have any questions or concerns contact us at:

 

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Picture:  Lady Slippers, taken in Northern Minnesota

 

 

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Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Does Ibuprofen Interfere With Male Fertility?

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Does Ibuprofen Interfere With Male Fertility?

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

 motrin

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Your Dentist Can Spot This Problem!

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

You Dentist can Be the First to Spot This Serious Problem.

 

Lichen Planus

A rare rash that shows up as lacy, white patches or red shiny bumps on the inside of the cheeks or tongue could be lichen planus. There are several possible reasons for this happening.

Generally, mild lichen planus doesn’t need any treatment. If it causes pain or ulcers, it can be treated with oral and topical medication. Oral lichen planus can be chronic and may increase the risk for oral cancer.

Lichen PlanusLichen Planus

Your  dentist will probably be the first person who tells you that you have Lichen planus!

 

This should be taken  very seriously, for it  can also signal skin (Lichen Planus Pigmentosa) (Lichen Nitidus) scalp (Lichen Planopilaris) , extremities ( Lichen Amyloidosis), nails, and genitals ( Lichen Sclerosus)

naillichenplanus Nail Lichen Planus

Lichen does not settle in just one part of your body.  It is a systemic problem that affects every part of your body.

 

Lichen Amyloidosis is a chronic intensely itchy skin rash caused by the abnormal deposit of amyloids (proteins) in the skin. The lesions mostly appear in the lower leg, particularly over the shin; however, in few instances, there can be lesions on thighs, lower limbs, forearms, and back. It is more prominent in males than in females aging fifty to sixty years.

Lichen AmyloidosisLichen Amyloidosis

Lichen Planopilaris  is the specific name given to lichen planus on the scalp that causes permanent scarring alopecia with inflammation around affected hair follicles. It mostly affects middle-aged adults as distinct patches of hair loss.

Lichen PlanopilarisLichen Planopilaris

Lichen Planus Pigmentosa is an uncommon skin disorder. This presents with oval grayish (turning blackish) brown marks on the face and neck or trunk and limbs without an inflammatory phase.

 

Lichen Nitidus is a rare, chronic skin eruption that is characterized by round skin-colored papules, which are flattened on top. They are described as micro-papules. Papules mean small solid bumps rising from the skin that is usually less than 10 mm in diameter. They do not contain any fluid. However, they are caused by an underlying inflammatory condition.

Lichen Nitidus

Lichen Sclerosus

This is one of the most serious for it is an extremely advances stage. Patches of the genital skin which should be treated, even if they aren’t painful or itchy. This condition should have been caught years earlier, before it gets to this stage.  These patches will scar, causing problems of muscular atrophy, muscular disfigurement and thus problems with urination or sex. Since this is the last stage, there is also a greater chance that skin cancer may develop in the patches. You should see your doctor every six to 12 months in order to follow and treat any skin changes. Woman need to be post-menopausal for at least 5 years to detect this problem.  This is the stage that this can be spread through kissing, skin lesion, nail manicures, skin papules, and contact with scalp.   Partners to women who carry this disease will notice an increase in canker sores, cold sores (which are not cold sores), jock itch, increase auto-immune response. Sometimes surgery is needed to remove the genital patches in men.

 

Lichen and Hepatitis:

Some of the latest studies have shown a co-association of Lichen Planus with a rare variety of Hepatitis-C. It may be noted that the exact connection and causative link has not been established between the two entities. It may be noted that patients with Hepatitis C have some proneness to develop Lichen Planus

 

Possible treatments for the disease include:

Ointments and creams can be the conventual advise you will receive. This is a topical approach that does not cure the problem, and this type of health condition will continue to spread and increase.

The most common approach are Cortisone type creams, but this causes immune suppression, and doesn’t treat the cause.

Cortisone may help initially for a short time

02 Cortisone leads to relapse of LP in most cases

03 Cortisone treated relapse is more severe, more complex

04 Cortisone treated LP is more difficult to treat

05 It is wise to avoid cortisone during all stages of Lichen Planus (the only exception is most severe cases of oral or genital Lichen Planus.)

06 Cortisone puts you to the vicious cycle of dependency

07 Cortisone dependents have to come out of the vicious cycle

 

Cortisone creams are not the answer!  Sometimes they make the progression worse!

 

 

 

So what do you do?    You need to get ahold of healthcare professionals that deal with preventative and restorative medicine.

 

YOU DONT WANT TO TREAT IT, YOU WANT TO BEAT IT!

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

6 Watermelon Facts That Might Surprise You

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

6 Watermelon Facts That Might Surprise You

watermelon

1.Watermelon Has More Lycopene Than Raw Tomatoes

Lycopene is a powerful carotenoid antioxidant that gives fruits and vegetables a pink or red color. It’s most often associated with tomatoes, but watermelon is actually a more concentrated source.

Compared to a large fresh tomato, one cup of watermelon has 1.5 times the lycopene (6 milligrams (mg) in watermelon compared to 4 mg in a tomato). More on why lycopene is so important shortly…

2.Watermelon Juice May Relieve Muscle Soreness

If you have a juicer, try juicing about one-third of a fresh watermelon and drinking its juice prior to your next workout. This contains a little over one gram of l-citrulline, an amino acid that seems to protect against muscle pain.

One study found that men who drank natural unpasteurized watermelon juice prior to their workouts had reduced muscle soreness 24 hours later compared to those who drank a placebo.

You do need to be careful with drinking watermelon juice, though, as it contains a significant amount of fructose. It may be better to eat the entire fruit, or opt for these other tips to prevent muscle soreness.

3.Watermelon Is a Fruit and a Vegetable

Remember how watermelon is related to cucumbers, pumpkin, and squash? That’s because it’s part vegetable and part fruit (it’s a sweet, seed-producing plant, after all). The other clue that watermelon is both fruit and vegetable? The rind is entirely edible…

4.You Can Eat Watermelon Rind and Seeds

Most people throw away the watermelon rind, but try putting it in a blender with some lime for a healthy, refreshing treat. Not only does the rind contain plenty of health-promoting and blood-building chlorophyll, but the rind actually contains more of the amino acid citrulline than the pink flesh.

Citrulline is converted to arginine in your kidneys, and not only is this amino acid important for heart health and maintaining your immune system, but it has been researched to have potential therapeutic value in over 100 health conditions.

While many people prefer seedless watermelon varieties, black watermelon seeds are edible and actually quite healthy. They contain iron, zinc, protein, and fiber. (In case you were wondering, seedless watermelons aren’t genetically modified, as they’re the result of hybridization.)

5.It’s Mostly Water

This might not be surprising, but it’s still a fun fact; watermelon is more than 91 percent water. This means that eating watermelon with you on a hot summer day is a tasty way to help you stay hydrated and avoid dehydration (it’s not a substitute for drinking plenty of fresh water, however).

6.Some Watermelon Are Yellow

The Yellow Crimson watermelon has yellow flesh with a sweeter, honey flavor than the more popular pink-fleshed Crimson Sweet. It’s likely that yellow watermelon offers its own unique set of nutritional benefits, but most research to date has focused on the pink-fleshed varieties.

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

3 Ways Collagen Supplements Can Change Your Life

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

3 Ways Collagen Supplements Can Change Your Life

collagenfoods

If you’ve heard about celebrities touting the benefits of taking collagen supplements, then you’ve probably heard of some of the many boosts to wellness and beauty collagen is said to offer: more youthful, elastic skin; less joint pain; healthier hair and nails: stronger bones; and even better gastrointestinal health. This raft of benefits might sound too good to be true. But it turns out there’s solid scientific research to back up some of these claims. There really are three ways collagen supplements can change your life.

 

 

 

What is Collagen?

Before taking a look at the research, let’s start with what exactly collagen is, and how your body uses it. Collagen is a collection of amino acids that form the most abundant protein in your body. In fact, collagen represents 30% of the body’s protein. It’s the one needed for all your connective tissues and is in your bones, muscles, skin, blood vessels, tendons and digestive system.

 

The body produces less and less collagen over time, which is why we develop joint pain and wrinkles later in life. There are other factors, in addition to aging, that can decrease your collagen levels, like getting too much sun, eating too much sugar, and smoking.

 

 

 

Collagen Supplements Can Change Your Life

A recent double-blind, placebo controlled trial, published on the National Institute of Health’s website, resulted in higher skin elasticity and measurably smaller facial wrinkles in the women who took daily collagen supplements.  Furthermore, there are several studies that indicate taking collagen supplements daily will result in reduced pain in your joints. In this one, cited by Prevention magazine, people who took collagen supplements experienced a reduction in osteoarthritis related knee pain.

 

Collagen supplements might also aid your digestive system. The research studies on this are fewer, but there is a tremendous amount of anecdotal evidence. Individuals state that after they started taking collagen they experienced healing properties on their gut. This reporter for Prevention had a first-hand experience with collagen supplements helping boost her gut health. The Healthy Gut Institute calls collagen The Powerful Supplement You Need to Heal a Leaky Gut.

 

 

 

Ways to Take Collagen

There are three main ways people try to boost their body’s collagen:

 

Injections

Creams

Dietary Supplements

Collagen injections serve two purposes. Sometimes doctors will prescribe them for joint injuries and sometimes people receive them as less invasive alternatives to plastic surgery. In both cases the injection affords only temporary relief. The collagen eventually breaks down and leaves the body.

 

Collagen creams are used for cosmetic purposes. Since there’s evidence that increasing the body’s collagen can result in more elastic, youthful looking skin, some think that applying collagen directly to the skin can bring about those benefits. However, most dermatologists think the creams do not penetrate the dermis, the thick layer on the bottom of the skin, rendering any potential benefits nil.

 

Collagen supplements added to food in powdered form are the most promising form of additional collagen. The study cited above, on the NIH’s website, where the participants experienced a reduction in wrinkles and greater skin elasticity, used a powdered form of collagen that is added to food or drinks. This powder is tasteless and can be mixed with hot or cold foods.

 

If you decide to give collagen supplements a try, do a little research first before choosing which one. Since nutritional supplements are not regulated by the FDA, you want to try to find one that’s as safe as possible. A good place to start is by checking for contaminants at the NSF, The Public Health and Safety Organization.

 

Another way to get more collagen is to make lifestyle changes that help your body produce its own supply. Use sunscreen and avoid sunbathing, stop smoking, and increase the pro-collagen foods in your diet.

 

According to Livestrong.com foods you can eat that will boost your body’s production of collagen include:

 

Lean meats

Egg whites

Wheat germ

Cherries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries

Foods rich in Vitamin C

 

 

Whether you choose to make lifestyle changes to boost your body’s production of collagen or give dietary collagen supplements a try, there’s a good chance adding this protein will have a beneficial effect on your health.

As with any supplement, please talk to a healthcare provider who can advise you correctly.  If they say “oh, anyone will work”  RUN! Out of there!

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Teething Medication Causes Serious Health Risk

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Teething Medication Causes Serious Health Risk

 

The boy was crying and biting your fingers

Consumers should stop using over-the-counter teething products that contain benzocaine because they pose a serious health threat to infants and young children, U.S. health officials warned Wednesday.

 

Benzocaine can cause a serious health threat called methemoglobinemia, which greatly reduces the level of oxygen carried through the blood. The condition is potentially fatal, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a news release.

 

Benzocaine is marketed as a way to ease the pain of a variety of oral health problems, including teething, sore throat, canker sores, and irritation of the mouth and gums. Products containing benzocaine are sold as gels, sprays, ointments, solutions and lozenges under such over-the-counter brand names Anbesol, Baby Orajel, Cepacol, Chloraseptic, Hurricane, Orabase, Orajel and Topex, the FDA said. There are also store brands and generics containing the compound.

 

The FDA said parents and caregivers should stop using the products and companies should stop selling them. If the manufacturers don’t comply with the order, the agency said it would take the necessary steps to remove the products from the market.

 

“Given the accumulating evidence regarding benzocaine’s association with methemoglobinemia, we are taking necessary action to work with industry to discontinue the distribution and sale of over-the-counter benzocaine oral health products intended for teething pain,” said Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

 

Signs and symptoms of methemoglobinemia may set in after using benzocaine for the first time, and could appear within minutes to 1 to 2 hours. Symptoms include pale, gray- or blue-colored skin, lips and nail beds; shortness of breath; fatigue; headache; lightheadedness; and rapid heart rate. If any of these symptoms occur, the child should receive immediate medical care, the FDA said.

 

And, as always, store all drug products where children can’t reach them, the agency said.

 

To treat teething pain, the FDA suggests following recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The recommendations include using a teething ring made of firm rubber (but not frozen), or to gently rub or massage the child’s gums with a finger.

 

Pain relievers and medications that are rubbed on the gums for teething don’t work because they wash out of a baby’s mouth within minutes and may present safety concerns, the FDA said.

 

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Study Shows Link Between Strong Muscles and a Strong Brain

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

Study Shows Link Between Strong Muscles and a Strong Brain

musclebrain

Science has linked the benefit of physical exercise to brain health for many years. In fact, compelling evidence suggests physical exercise not only helps build cognitive power1 but also helps the brain resist shrinkage by promoting neurogenesis,2 i.e., the ability to adapt and grow new brain cells. Unfortunately, forgetfulness and “senior moments” are considered by many medical professionals to be a normal and anticipated part of aging.

 

I disagree. In fact, I believe if you’ve noticed memory lapses you may want to seriously consider making immediate lifestyle changes to help reverse or at least minimize further deterioration. Your brain is actually quite adaptable and has the capacity to repair and regenerate, the medical term for which is neuroplasticity. A recent study has found a strong correlation between grip strength and brain health.3

 

Your Muscle and Cognitive Power Are Connected

Researchers from Western Sydney University have found muscle strength, which they measured using hand grip strength, may be a strong indicator of the health of your brain.4 An analysis of data collected from over 475,000 British participants revealed the stronger an individual’s hand grip, the better they performed across every brain function test the researchers used, supporting previous research from the same university.5

 

During the study, the researchers evaluated reaction speed, logical problem-solving and multiple tests analyzing memory. Interestingly, they also determined the data was consistently strong both in individuals younger than 55 and those over 55. The analysis accounted for age, gender, body weight and education prior to confirming those who were stronger indeed had better functioning brains.6

 

A comparison of the results between the general population and individuals who suffered from schizophrenia found strong similarities. Grip strength was strongly correlated to brain health, particularly in working memory and processing speed.7 The researchers theorize if grip strength could predict functional and physical health outcomes in individuals who suffered from schizophrenia, further interventions to improve muscle strength could impact cognitive and real-world functioning.8

 

Although the correlation between muscle strength and physical activity to better brain health and cognitive function in seniors has been demonstrated in previous studies, the results from this study also revealed a strong connection in those younger than 55. Joseph Firth, Ph.D., from the National Institute of Complementary Medicine at Western Sydney University, commented on the results:9

 

“These sorts of novel interventions, such as weight training, could be particularly beneficial for people with mental health conditions. Our research has shown that the connections between muscular strength and brain functioning also exist in people experiencing schizophrenia, major depression and bipolar disorder — all of which can interfere with regular brain functioning.

 

This raises the strong possibility that weight training exercises could actually improve both the physical and mental functioning of people with these conditions.”

 

Aerobic Exercise and Strength Training Affect Cognitive Ability

Previous studies have also linked physical activity with an improvement in cognitive functioning, even for a short time. While studies have found exercising for at least 20 minutes has a measurable effect on cognitive functioning, one study demonstrated exercising for just 10 minutes could have a limited effect on cognitive performance following the exercise,10 suggesting even short bouts of exercise at work may improve productivity.

 

Although the researchers cannot explain the immediate cause of the benefits, theories include an increase in blood flow to the brain or a release of specific proteins, which have demonstrated neuroprotective benefits and the stimulation of new neurons.11 Regular aerobic exercise also appears to increase the size of your hippocampus, the area of your brain involved in verbal memory and learning.

 

Research from the University of British Columbia found resistance training, balance and muscle toning exercises did not have the same results on the hippocampus as aerobic exercise.12 Aerobic exercise, which has the benefit of simultaneously building large muscle strength and engaging your cardiovascular system, was found to improve vocabulary learning in one study.13 Participants who exercised during their workday also increased their productivity by 23 percent.14

 

In one test, participants pedaled on a stationary bike for 30 minutes and were able to improve scores on memory, reasoning and planning.15 In another, after running on a treadmill, subjects improved their performance by 20 percent on memory tests and demonstrated a 20 percent improvement on problem-solving abilities.16 Compiled death statistics find the top three killers are heart disease, cancer and chronic lower respiratory diseases.17

 

It is not a secret that regular exercise and good nutrition will dramatically reduce your potential risk for these conditions, yet nearly 80 percent of American adults don’t get the recommended amount of exercise each week.18 While exercise is critical, the nutritional choices you make each day also contribute greatly to building strong muscles and a strong cardiovascular system.

 

Make Smart Meat Choices

Cracking the code to build stronger muscles means addressing your body’s dietary needs and not just your perceived need for protein. While protein does help develop strong muscles, cell growth requires more than just one primary nutrient. In fact, there are several reasons why you do not want to eat more protein than your body can immediately use, which I will discuss below.

 

When choosing protein, it is important to choose wisely. Most meat at the grocery store today, unless otherwise labeled, is raised on a processed diet in confined quarters and injected with antibiotics — and producing low quality nutrition. Instead, you want to seek out grass fed organically-raised beef and organic free-range dark meat chicken.

 

Choosing meat raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) may expose your gut microbiome to low-dose antibiotics, disturbing your gut flora, immune system and emotional health.19

 

Animals raised in CAFO systems also consume genetically engineered (GE) feed, like corn and soy, which are heavily contaminated with glyphosate, also patented as a very effective antibiotic against a large number of beneficial organisms. How your meat is labeled may help you find high quality meat. For instance, “Antibiotic-free,” “No antibiotic residues,” and “No antibiotic growth promotants,” have not been approved by the USDA and may be misleading, if not outright fraudulent.20

 

“Natural” or “All-Natural” is completely meaningless and has no bearing on whether or not the animal was raised according to organic principles. “Natural” meat and poultry products can by law receive antibiotics, hormones and GE grains, and can be raised in CAFOs. For the highest quality beef, seek out products certified by the American Grassfed Association (AGA).

Your second-best choice is meat labeled, “100% USDA Organic,” “No antibiotics administered” and “Grass-fed” coupled with the USDA Organic label.21 When it comes to salmon, I strongly recommend eating only wild-caught Alaskan salmon or sockeye salmon, which are not allowed to be farmed. While farm-raised salmon may be less expensive in the store, they often carry a high health risk as testing revealed no less than 13 persistent organic pollutants, including carcinogenic PCBs and dioxins in farm-raised salmon.22

 

PCB concentrations are so high in farmed salmon researchers say:23 “Risk analysis indicates that consumption of farmed Atlantic salmon may pose health risks that detract from the beneficial effects of fish consumption.” Many farmed fish are also genetically modified to grow faster and larger than wild-caught species.

 

Although larger, you trade high grade nutritionally packed omega-3 fats in wild-caught Alaskan salmon for high levels of inflammatory omega-6 fats in farmed salmon. You can tell if your salmon is wild-caught or farm raised by the color and fat content. The flesh of wild sockeye salmon is bright red, courtesy of natural astaxanthin content. The flesh is also lean, with thin white stripes. If the flesh is pale pink with wide fat marks, the salmon is farmed.

 

Nutritional Choices Help Build Strong Muscles

Your nutritional choices to grow strong muscles don’t end with your choice of meat. Here are four more foods you’ll want to include:

 

  • Macadamia nuts and pecans Macadamia nuts have the highest fat, and lowest carb and protein content of any nuts. Pecans are also high in fat and low in protein and carbs, with abundant antioxidants and minerals. Most Americans get more than enough protein each day and instead need a higher amount of fat for fuel with low carbohydrates. Macadamia nuts and pecans are the perfect snack choice or addition to your chicken or salad.

 

  • Organic broccoli and cauliflower These two vegetables contain essential nutrients to promote fat loss, muscle recovery and muscle growth. Broccoli and cauliflower contain the chemical I3C, aiding in DNA repair.24 Both are good sources of folate,25 necessary for the production of new cell growth.26

 

  • Organic blueberries Blueberries may speed muscle recovery when they are eaten before and after exercise.27 Packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, they can be grown in your garden so you can enjoy fresh blueberries throughout the growing season, and frozen to enjoy all year-round.

 

  • Organic celery Celery is a delicious, satisfying and crunchy snack, delivering high amounts of fiber and vitamins A, C, K, folate, potassium and manganese. Vitamin K supports the Gas6 protein, a cellular growth regulation factor necessary for the support of your heart, lungs, kidneys and cartilage.28 Vitamin K also regulates matrix γ-carboxylated glutamate (Gla) protein (MGP), found in cartilage and smooth muscle cells.29

 

Don’t Eat More Protein Than You Need

While protein is necessary to build strong muscles, too much can do more harm than good. There are adverse consequences to eating excessive protein, including the buildup of excess nitrogen waste products in your body, having a stimulating effect on the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, and adversely impacting the GCN2 pathway involved in the aging process.

 

The recommended dietary reference intake30 for protein is 0.8 grams per kilo per day of body weight or about 46 grams of protein per day for the average sedentary woman and 56 grams for the average sedentary man. However, the average American eats nearly double or more.31

 

For optimal health I believe most adults need 1 gram of protein per kilo of lean body mass, not total body weight; approximately 0.5 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass. You’ll find a simple method of calculating your current protein requirements in my previous article, “Are You Sabotaging Your Health and Longevity by Eating Too Much Protein?”

 

Foods and Other Lifestyle Choices Improve Brain Function

While there is a strong correlation between exercise and cognitive performance, as with other organs in your body, your brain requires fuel. Your brain can metabolize either carbohydrates or fats for energy, but there is significant evidence the metabolic product of fats — ketones — may help restore and renew neurons even after damage has begun.

 

Ketones are not the only nutrients with a neuroprotective effect reducing reactive oxygen species in your brain. While blueberries have anti-inflammatory effects on your muscles, they also may help prevent, and are potential treatment of, cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer’s disease.32 The combination of a ketogenic diet and the addition of blueberries may help improve memory.

 

In studies of participants who had mild cognitive impairment,33 both ketosis and blueberries helped improve memory in older adults.34 High levels of antioxidants in blueberries may also help reduce free radical damage, important for the prevention of DNA damage and diseases such as cancer.

 

Broccoli, cauliflower and celery have positive effects on muscle growth and recovery and are also associated with brain health. Celery is a rich source of luteolin, a plant compound with a calming influence on inflammation in your brain, which is a primary cause of neurodegeneration. Luteolin has also been linked with lower rates of age-related memory loss in mice.35

 

Older mice fed a luteolin-supplemented diet scored better on learning and memory tasks. In addition to celery, peppers and carrots are also good sources of luteolin.

 

Broccoli and cauliflower are also good sources of choline, one of the B vitamins known for a role in brain development. Choline intake during pregnancy “super-charged” the brain activity of animals in utero, indicating it may boost cognitive function, improve learning and memory, and may diminish age-related memory decline.36 Broccoli offers additional benefits as well, including the anti-inflammatory flavonoid kaempferol and three glucosinolate phytonutrients working together to support your body’s detoxification processes.37

 

Call for an appointment for your personalized healthcare plan.

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Good Sleep is the Door to Good Health!

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

Good Sleep is the Door to Good Health!

sleepmercola

Sleep is one of the great mysteries of life. Like gravity or the quantum field, we still don’t understand exactly why we sleep—although we are learning more about it every day.

 

We do know, however, that good sleep is one of the cornerstones of health.

 

Six to eight hours per night seems to be the optimal amount of sleep for most adults, and too much or too little can have adverse effects on your health.

 

Sleep deprivation is such a chronic condition these days that you might not even realize you suffer from it. Science has now established that a sleep deficit can have serious, far reaching effects on your health.

 

For example, interrupted or impaired sleep can:

 

Dramatically weaken your immune system

Accelerate tumor growth—tumors grow two to three times faster in laboratory animals with severe sleep dysfunctions

Cause a pre-diabetic state, making you feel hungry even if you’ve already eaten, which can wreak havoc on your weight

Seriously impair your memory; even a single night of poor sleep—meaning sleeping only 4 to 6 hours—can impact your ability to think clearly the next day

Impair your performance on physical or mental tasks, and decrease your problem solving ability

When your circadian rhythms are disrupted, your body produces less melatonin (a hormone AND an antioxidant) and has less ability to fight cancer, since melatonin helps suppress free radicals that can lead to cancer. This is why tumors grow faster when you sleep poorly.

 

Impaired sleep can also increase stress-related disorders, including:

 

Heart disease

Stomach ulcers

Constipation

Mood disorders like depression

Diabetes

Auto-immune disorders

 

Sleep deprivation prematurely ages you by interfering with your growth hormone production, normally released by your pituitary gland during deep sleep (and during certain types of exercise, such as Peak Fitness Technique). Growth hormone helps you look and feel younger.

 

One study has even shown that people with chronic insomnia have a three times greater risk of dying from any cause. Lost sleep is lost forever, and persistent lack of sleep has a cumulative effect when it comes to disrupting your health. Poor sleep can make your life miserable, as most of you probably know.

 

The good news is, there are many natural techniques you can learn to restore your “sleep health.”

 

Whether you have difficulty falling asleep, waking up too often, or feeling inadequately rested when you wake up in the morning—or maybe you simply want to improve the quality of your sleep—you are bound to find some relief from my tips and tricks below.

 

Optimizing Your Sleep Sanctuary

  1. Sleep in complete darkness, or as close to it as possible. Even the tiniest bit of light in the room can disrupt your internal clock and your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin. Even the tiniest glow from your clock radio could be interfering with your sleep. This will help decrease your risk of cancer.

 

Close your bedroom door and get rid of night-lights. Refrain from turning on any light at all during the night, even when getting up to go to the bathroom. Cover up your clock radio. Cover your windows—I recommend using blackout shades or drapes.

 

All life evolved in response to predictable patterns of light and darkness, called circadian rhythms. Modern day electrical lighting has significantly betrayed your inner clock by disrupting your natural rhythms. Little bits of light pass directly through your optic nerve to your hypothalamus, which controls your biological clock. Light signals your brain that it’s time to wake up and starts preparing your body for ACTION.

 

  1. Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees F. Many people keep their homes and particularly their upstairs bedrooms too warm. Studies show that the optimal room temperature for sleep is quite cool, between 60 to 68 degrees. Keeping your room cooler or hotter can lead to restless sleep.

 

When you sleep, your body’s internal temperature drops to its lowest level, generally about four hours after you fall asleep. Scientists believe a cooler bedroom may therefore be most conducive to sleep, since it mimics your body’s natural temperature drop.

 

  1. Check your bedroom for electro-magnetic fields (EMFs). These can disrupt the pineal gland and the production of melatonin and serotonin and may have other negative effects as well. To do this, you need a gauss meter. You can find various models online, starting around $50 to $200. Some experts even recommend pulling your circuit breaker before bed to kill all power in your house.

 

  1. Move alarm clocks and other electrical devices away from your bed. If these devices must be used, keep them as far away from your bed as possible, preferably at least 3 feet. Remove the clock from view. It will only add to your worry when you stare at it all night… 2 a.m. …3 a.m. … 4:30 a.m.

 

  1. Avoid using loud alarm clocks. It is very stressful on your body to be suddenly jolted awake. If you are regularly getting enough sleep, an alarm may even be unnecessary. I gave up my alarm clock years ago and now use a sun alarm clock, an alarm that combines the features of a traditional alarm clock (digital display, AM/FM radio, beeper, snooze button, etc.) with a special built-in light that gradually increases in intensity, simulating sunrise.

 

  1. Reserve your bed for sleeping. If you are used to watching TV or doing work in bed, you may find it harder to relax and drift off to sleep, so avoid doing these activities in bed.

 

  1. Consider separate bedrooms. Recent studies suggest, for many people, sharing a bed with a partner (or pets) can significantly impair sleep, especially if the partner is a restless sleeper or snores. If bedfellows are consistently interfering with your sleep, you may want to consider a separate bedroom.

 

Preparing for Bed

  1. Get to bed as early as possible. Your body (particularly your adrenal system) does a majority of its recharging between the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. In addition, your gallbladder dumps toxins during this same period. If you are awake, the toxins back up into your liver, which can further disrupt your health. Prior to the widespread use of electricity, people would go to bed shortly after sundown, as most animals do, and which nature intended for humans as well.

 

  1. Don’t change your bedtime. You should go to bed and wake up at the same times each day, even on the weekends. This will help your body to get into a sleep rhythm and make it easier to fall asleep and get up in the morning.

 

  1. Establish a bedtime routine. This could include meditation, deep breathing, using aromatherapy or essential oils or indulging in a massage from your partner. The key is to find something that makes you feel relaxed, then repeat it each night to help you release the tensions of the day.

 

  1. Don’t drink any fluids within 2 hours of going to bed. This will reduce the likelihood of needing to get up and go to the bathroom, or at least minimize the frequency.

 

  1. Go to the bathroom right before bed. This will reduce the chances that you’ll wake up to go in the middle of the night.

 

  1. Eat a high-protein snack several hours before bed. This can provide the L-tryptophan needed for your melatonin and serotonin production.

 

  1. Also eat a small piece of fruit. This can help the tryptophan cross your blood-brain barrier.

 

  1. Avoid before-bed snacks, particularly grains and sugars. These will raise your blood sugar and delay sleep. Later, when blood sugar drops too low (hypoglycemia), you may wake up and be unable to fall back asleep.

 

  1. Take a hot bath, shower or sauna before bed. When your body temperature is raised in the late evening, it will fall at bedtime, facilitating slumber. The temperature drops from getting out of the bath signals your body it’s time for bed.

 

  1. Wear socks to bed. Feet often feel cold before the rest of the body because they have the poorest circulation. A study has shown that wearing socks to bed reduces night waking. As an alternative, you could place a hot water bottle near your feet at night.

 

  1. Wear an eye mask to block out light. As discussed earlier, it is very important to sleep in as close to complete darkness as possible. That said, it’s not always easy to block out every stream of light using curtains, blinds or drapes, particularly if you live in an urban area (or if your spouse has a different schedule than you do). In these cases, an eye mask can be helpful.

 

  1. Put your work away at least one hour before bed (preferably two hours or more). This will give your mind a chance to unwind so you can go to sleep feeling calm, not hyped up or anxious about tomorrow’s deadlines.

 

  1. No TV right before bed. Even better, get the TV out of the bedroom or even completely out of the house. It’s too stimulating to the brain, preventing you from falling asleep quickly. TV disrupts your pineal gland function.

 

  1. Listen to relaxation CDs. Some people find the sound of white noise or nature sounds, such as the ocean or forest, to be soothing for sleep. An excellent relaxation/meditation option to listen to before bed is the Insight audio CD.

 

Another favorite is the Sleep Harmony CD, which uses a combination of advanced vibrational technology and guided meditation to help you effortlessly fall into deep delta sleep within minutes. The CD works on the principle of “sleep wave entrainment” to assist your brain in gearing down for sleep.

 

  1. Read something spiritual or uplifting. This may help you relax. Don’t read anything stimulating, such as a mystery or suspense novel, which has the opposite effect. In addition, if you are really enjoying a suspenseful book, you might be tempted to go on reading for hours, instead of going to sleep!

 

  1. Journaling. If you often lay in bed with your mind racing, it might be helpful to keep a journal and write down your thoughts before bed. Personally, I have been doing this for 15 years, but prefer to do it in the morning when my brain is functioning at its peak and my cortisol levels are high.

 

Lifestyle Suggestions That Enhance Sleep

  1. Reduce or avoid as many drugs as possible. Many drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, may adversely affect sleep. In most cases, the condition causing the drugs to be taken in the first place can be addressed by following guidelines elsewhere on my web site.

 

  1. Avoid caffeine. At least one study has shown that, in some people, caffeine is not metabolized efficiently, leaving you feeling its effects long after consumption. So, an afternoon cup of coffee or tea will keep some people from falling asleep at night. Be aware that some medications contain caffeine (for example, diet pills).

 

  1. Avoid alcohol. Although alcohol will make you drowsy, the effect is short lived and you will often wake up several hours later, unable to fall back asleep. Alcohol will also keep you from entering the deeper stages of sleep, where your body does most of its healing.

 

  1. Make certain you are exercising regularly. Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day can improve your sleep. However, don’t exercise too close to bedtime or it may keep you awake. Studies show exercising in the morning is the best if you can manage it.

 

  1. Lose excess weight. Being overweight can increase your risk of sleep apnea, which can seriously impair your sleep. Please refer to my nutrition plan for recommendations.

 

  1. Avoid foods you may be sensitive to. This is particularly true for sugar, grains, and pasteurized dairy. Sensitivity reactions can cause excess congestion, gastrointestinal upset, bloating and gas, and other problems.

 

  1. Have your adrenals checked by a good natural medicine clinician. Scientists have found that insomnia may be caused by adrenal stress.

 

  1. If you are menopausal or perimenopausal, get checked out by a good natural medicine physician. The hormonal changes at this time may cause sleep problems if not properly addressed.

 

If All Else Fails

  1. My current favorite fix for insomnia is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Most people can learn the basics of this gentle tapping technique in a few minutes. EFT can help balance your body’s bioenergy system and resolve some of the emotional stresses that are contributing to your insomnia at a very deep level. The results are typically long lasting and improvement is remarkably rapid.

 

  1. Increase your melatonin. Ideally it is best to increase levels naturally with exposure to bright sunlight in the daytime (along with full spectrum fluorescent bulbs in the winter) and absolute complete darkness at night. If that isn’t possible, you may want to consider a melatonin supplement.

 

In scientific studies, melatonin has been shown to increase sleepiness, help you fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep, decrease restlessness, and reverse daytime fatigue. Melatonin is a completely natural substance, made by your body, and has many health benefits in addition to sleep.

 

As always Melatonin should not be used if you have a heart condition, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, fibromyalgia, any gastrointestinal inflammatory problems or pregnant.

 

Call your healthcare provider or give us a call for your personal healthcare needs.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr Gemma Carney

312-972-9355 (WELL)

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

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

 

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Uncategorized

Low Carb Meat Pie

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

Low Carb Meat Pie

Lowcarbmeatpie

This easy recipe for ground beef meat pie is low carb and keto. A crustless pie, this tasty meat pie is big on beef flavor and contains no starchy fillers.

Lifestyle, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Home Blood Pressure Monitors Unreliable

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

Home Blood Pressure Monitors Unreliable

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

bpmachine

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

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

 

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

 

So how can you check the accuracy of your device?

 

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

bpmachinestethOnly a stethoscope can give an accurate reading.

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

 

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

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

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr. A Sulllivan D.O. FACO

312-972-9355 (WELL)

Healthaellnessassociates@gmail.com

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