Monthly Archives: September 2012

Low cholesterol caution: Why you need cholesterol

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why you need cholesterol

We frequently hear about the dangers of high cholesterol, but keeping cholesterol as low as many doctors recommend may be doing your body more harm than good.

Although conventional medicine has demonized cholesterol and many healthy foods as a consequence, too little cholesterol can be harmful in a variety of ways. Your body uses cholesterol to make cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D, bile acids (to help you digest fats), and it’s vital to good brain function.

Cholesterol prevents depression and memory loss

Cholesterol is abundant in brain and nervous tissue. It provides insulation around nerve cells that transmit electrical impulses, thus maintaining healthy communication in the brain. It also supports the activity of neurotransmitters, chemicals used for communication that… Continue reading

How to motivate yourself to exercise

motivate yourself to exercise

Exercise is the golden bullet when it comes to lowering your risk of heart disease, bone loss, dementia, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and a long list of other modern health maladies. Yet many Americans just can’t seem to make the time or find the motivation.

The problem, say researchers in a New York Times article who have studied the issue, is that exercise is a “should” instead of a “want.” For many people, exercising to prevent a possible health problem later in life is not a good enough reason to get out of the office chair or off the sofa. Being scared into exercising because of a current health condition, like obesity, heart disease or bone loss, may… Continue reading

Do you have Hashimoto’s? You may be at an increased risk for diabetes “type 1.5”

diet for diabetes

Do you have Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism and type 2 diabetes?Although insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes get pinned on diet and lifestyle choices, in some cases these disorders could be associated with an autoimmune reaction, which is the mechanism behind type 1 diabetes. As Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune thyroid disease that may lead to other autoimmune diseases, one should be aware of type 1.5 diabetes.

It is estimated 20 percent of people with type 2 diabetes also have an autoimmune reaction against the cells of their pancreas, prompting researchers to dub this “type 1.5 diabetes.” Type 1.5 diabetes may be even more prevalent than type 1 diabetes.

Insulin resistance (pre-diabetes) and diabetes are typically linked with a long-standing diet heavy… Continue reading

When your blood is drawn could affect TSH level and hypothyroidism diagnosis

tsh-hypothyroidism-hashimotos-afternoon

If you check your thyroid levels in the afternoon with a blood draw, results may come back normal even though you’re hypothyroid, according to a new study. Checking your TSH in the morning can give you more accurate results.

Like other hormones in the body, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) follows a daily rhythm and is not consistent throughout the day. Researchers in the study evaluated untreated patients with subclinical hypothyroidism along with patients taking a T4 hormone. They tested the participants’ TSH before 8 a.m. and again between 2 and 4 p.m.

In both groups TSH dropped substantially during the afternoon test, which would have led to hypothyroidism not being diagnosed in about 50 percent of the untreated participants.… Continue reading

Your antacid may be doing more harm than good

acid-reflux-heartburn-antacids

No one can be blamed for wanting relief, especially when acid reflux makes it feel like molten lava is shooting up through your esophagus. Antacids can bring quick relief, but their long-term use can also bring lasting problems. It’s better to identify and address the underlying causes of acid reflux than simply to squelch the symptoms.

Acid reflux occurs when the contents of the stomach backwash into the esophagus. These contents can include stomach acid, bile, food, or sour liquid. Although the lining of the stomach is designed to handle such an acidic environment, the more delicate tissue of the esophagus is not. As a result, symptoms include indigestion, a burning sensation in the chest (heartburn), and tasting regurgitated… Continue reading

Your spouse: The biggest barrier to a gluten-free diet?

spouse-not-support-gluten-free-diet

You swore to support each other in sickness and in health, yet when it comes to a gluten-free diet, you may have found your spouse to be your biggest barrier to success.

Spouses complain that eating gluten free is too expensive and too restrictive, they tell you that you’re making a big deal about nothing, or perhaps they simply cannot imagine life without those staples of Western civilization, bread and pasta. Whatever the reason, spouses are often one’s greatest saboteur when it comes to maintaining a gluten-free diet.

Gluten-eating spouse sabotaging your gluten-free diet?

Their transgressions can be maddening. They order pasta with garlic bread in front of your newly gluten-free children, who proceed to cry through the rest… Continue reading

Could your IBS, constipation, or diarrhea really be SIBO?

gas-bloating-constipation-diarrhea-sibo

Do you meet the criteria for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and can’t find relief? Do you look pregnant thanks to a bloated belly? Are chronic diarrhea or constipation your constant companions? If so, you may be a victim of stubborn gut bacteria, also known as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

While a long list of symptoms accompany SIBO, its trademark symptoms are a chronically bloated, distended belly; gas, which can cause flatulence, belching, or both; and a tendency toward chronic diarrhea, constipation, or both.

SIBO symptoms

  • Excess gas, flatulence, belching
  • Abdominal bloating from gas
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Constipation, diarrhea, or both
  • Nausea or heartburn
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Multiple food sensitivities
  • Leaky gut
  • Fatigue
  • Malabsorption symptoms (anemia or fatty… Continue reading

Positive thinking helpful in coping with, but perhaps not banishing, chronic illness

positive-thinking-chronic-illness

When a chronic health issue has you feeling like crud, few things are more insulting than someone telling you to “keep your chin up” or “think positive.” Such advice sounds like a brush-off from someone who has no idea what it is to struggle with pain, fatigue, depression, and other frightening, life-altering symptoms.

Today, one in two people suffer from a chronic health condition in the United States. Although researchers point to the more well-known illnesses of diabetes, arthritis, cancer, and heart disease, many others suffer from conditions doctors treat with little more than a psych consult or antidepressants: fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, Lyme disease, persistent hypothyroidism, and irritable bowel syndrome are among these.

Positive thinking can help you cope… Continue reading

Feel sleepy after meals? This could be an Alzheimer’s risk

insulin-resistance-dementia-alzheimers-risk

Do you feel sleepy or have intense cravings for sugar after meals? Are you a woman whose hair is thinning, yet you’re growing facial hair? Are you a man who cries at movies and has “moobs” (male breasts)? If so, you probably suffer from insulin resistance. Not only does insulin resistance gender bend your hormones, research shows it also raises your risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s.

What is insulin resistance?

A high-carb, high-sugar diet consistently raises blood sugar levels, which in turn requires the body to secrete high levels of insulin to lower blood sugar. Eventually these insulin surges exhaust the body’s cells, which then refuse entry to the insulin, causing insulin resistance. Insulin resistance brought on by high… Continue reading

Gluten could be causing your child’s cavities

gluten-cavities-tooth-decay

While childhood is full of surprises, some parents are unprepared for the staggering dental bills and persistent cavities children get, even when they brush and floss regularly. Parents know to restrict sugar, but what they may not realize is that a hidden gluten intolerance and poor gut health, not a fluoride deficiency, may be the cause of those cavities.

Fortunately, help can be just a meal away. Many have witnessed a near-miraculous halting of dental decay simply by putting their child on a gluten-free diet and restoring gut health.

Gluten intolerance causes wide range of dental defects

Defects in dental enamel are common in children who cannot tolerate gluten. In some children, dental problems may be the only symptom… Continue reading

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