Posts in Articles
Can't fall or stay asleep? Put down the melatonin and no one gets hurt.. seriously.

Sleep is so important. As in we have like 10+ hormones that regenerate while we sleep, and that's at certain times of night assuming we go through different stages of sleep. Unfortunately there are a number of medications like various psych meds, cold medicines and decongestants (ironic because sleep is imperative when we're sick), statins, steroids, antihistamines, and blood pressure medications that can cause vivid dreams, and disrupt sleep at any given time. Melatonin can be ok for a short period of time, except in some people it contributes to insomnia, and overall can limit our own production as melatonin is a hormone (like how birth control, hormone replacement, and testosterone can all eventually tell our body 'you're good, you don't need to make this- I got this').

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Do you really know where your sugar is from?

It's really easy to demonize sugar- it's everywhere, the cause of so many health issues, and a good part of the reason why we just don't feel good, which then you know there are processes gone awry in our body...sugar anyone for that endorphin boost to make this seem less depressing?? Common sources of sugar include juices, dessert, refined carbohydrates (e.g. white flour), candy, dried fruit (if anything eat the real fruit because it's higher fiber content helps stop the quick sugar rush/crash), soda, energy drinks, flavored foods, and alcohol (gets metabolized immediately to sugar). Less obvious sources include protein bars/meal replacements/granola bars, and restaurant foods (e.g. sauces, dressings). However, sugar imbalances, including those values seen on your bloodwork like triglycerides, hgbA1c, and glucose, aren't always because of a sugar laden diet. 

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Prolactin- the missing piece of bloodwork for hormonal assessment

Prolactin is a hormone measured in blood that's commonly associated with a new mom's ability to breastfeed post childbirth, as well as being able to nurture, and sex drive. It's released by the anterior pituitary by a signal from our hypothalamus (both located in the brain) to target breast tissue for lactation, and serves to modulate our immune system, metabolism, reproductive systems, and overall health for both men and women. Prolactin increases with estrogen, blood sugar issues, under active thyroid hormone, stress, pregnancy, and medications (e.g. opiates, anti-hypertensives, psychotropics, H2 blockers), and decreases with dopamine. 

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Craving sugar/carbs? It's not you (well sort of..), it's your hormones

Even with all scientists, doctors, health professionals, and Dr. Google know about the human body, we are learning more and more each day in how we are so interconnected. Sugar cravings go beyond a cold turkey 'stop eating sugar', because sugar is like a drug it can make us feel happy and loved, which then prompts, are we happy and loved in our own lives? Food is commonly known to reward us by reducing stress and improving mood- and we'll consume more until it does. It can also indicate imbalanced sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone, too much stress, crappy sleep, nutrient deficiency, and/or flat out insulin resistance (we're eating sugar but our body is not taking it into our cells to use, so in turn we eat more). 

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What to do when you, or someone you know, just don't feel right in their own body

In lieu of recent celebrity deaths Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, this post comes with a heavy heart. Unfortunately we won't know what was really going on in their minds as they chose a path like many others before them, famous or not famous, yet the impact to those close to them is still the same. Hurt, frustration, confusion, wished we could have done more, wondered what we could have done, feeling helpless, etc. and many more feelings can arise during these times. Is there someone to blame? Or something? Or rather what was that final breaking point?

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5 signs you wear your hormones on your skin

The skin is the largest organ, protecting us whatever is going on in the outside world, acting as a barrier for our muscles, bones, and organs. It's also said that skin is a reflection of what's going on inside of us, such as acne as a sign of imbalanced hormones, and dry skin potentially a sign of under active thyroid. Skin concerns can also be from a food intolerance, medications, imbalanced gut bacteria, detoxification/liver issues, blood sugar issues, or new face/beauty product, or a product you've been using forever that has so many chemicals that it's only just now that it's turning you into an itchy/scratchy/blotchy mess. Or it could be a combination of everything, which can make treatment daunting. 

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Do you have any of these pairs?

Sometimes what brings us to the doctor's office, or any professionals' office, is only the tip of the iceberg, only to have more revealed during the visit. It's no different in medicine, yet unfortunately these correlations are not always google-able. Common pairs especially in the endocrine/hormonal systems are blood sugar & thyroid, Epstein-Barr Virus & Hashimoto's, asthma & eczema, hormone imbalance & thyroid, erectile dysfunction & heart disease, and anxiety/depression & heart disease. 

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Should you count calories at all?

Calorie counting used to be all the rage, and yet to some extent it has still stuck, especially when people want to lose weight. The math seemed simple- we have a basal metabolic rate (BMR), somewhat reflective of thyroid health (how fast processes move, aka our metabolism), and its calories in versus calories out. Right? Not so much.. carbohydrates and protein provide 4 calories per gram, and fats provide 9 calories per gram. Then depending on how much muscle we have, muscle (anaerobic) will burn more calories in the long run than cardio (aerobic), and what/when we eat can get metabolized differently when we're sitting on our butt versus post marathon. Further, the majority of foods are grossly underestimated, and as humans, we also have the tendency to underestimate as many studies have shown that we're not accounting for nearly 1/3 of calories consumed! Now add in the stress of being totally unsure of those counts, unless you want to weight your food (a viable option). 

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How much your genetics matter in health & outcomes

Genetics are the building block of our material, the stuff we got from a male and a female, and that's what we're made of. Not so much.. the good news is that we're in control of about 90-95%+ of our health outcome, but doesn't mean there isn't something to be said about the foundation we've been dealt. Crazy thought- we were in our grandmother's uterus. We also store past emotions, trials and tribulations, anger & happiness, etc. in our DNA. So should you get 23&me done? Perhaps, but there's also many more genes that are not accounted for and then it's still a piece of the puzzle in terms of health too at the end of the day. 

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If and/or when bioidentical hormones, or hormonal birth control are appropriate

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was developed in the 1960's to 'liberate women' from the woes of menopause- think hot flashes, insomnia, sweats, etc. Socially, much of the credo was that women can stay youthful forever, a desire by many, both men and women alike (think stigma of getting older). A few decades before, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) was developed to help relieve men of depression, impaired memory, fatigue, and low libido. And back to 1960, was the development of female birth control, the oral contraceptive pill- used both to prevent pregnancy, and for relief of painful periods, acne, and mood swings. 

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Best practices to protect your bones

Bones are pretty important to our health- they hold us up (literally), house some of our organs, provide attachment for muscles, store calcium, and produce blood. They constantly change and shift throughout life, breaking down then being built up, to fit the body's needs. And bone health is more than just calcium, as important vitamins & minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin D, strontium, and boron, for example, are imperative for their integrity. Lifestyle choices like weight bearing exercises and regular movement also aid in healthy bones.  

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Period problems? Or had a history of period problems?

And it's not fun. The cramping so bad we miss getting together with friends or going out, feeling like we're going to pass out if Midol or ibuprofen isn't around, vomiting, so bloated right before that pants won't even button, breast tenderness, acne, irregular timing/bleeding, and you feel there's something more than just birth control. Or perhaps this was part of your history, and now you're wondering if it's perimenopause or stress, and if there's any damn solution to get rid of those hot flashes! Oy! 

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Medications have their place.. just sometimes not all the time

A recent article in the New York Times states that people taking antidepressants are finding it difficult to quit, sometimes regardless of how long they've been on the drug. Antidepressents were only supposed to be given for short-term use, about 2 months, and now 15.5 million people have been on them for at least 5 years. That rate has just about doubled since 2010, and well over tripled that amount from 2000.

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Dining out? This hidden chemical may be halting your health goals

Dining out is generally touted as a fun experience, whether it's a gathering with friends, family, partner, or on your own, it can be a treat where you don't have to cook or clean dishes. You may even become inspired by some of the dishes and their flavors, or find a new love for a certain cuisine or ingredient. And now there are many places where we can substitute or add ingredients to fit our dietary or food preferences! 

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3 reasons why you could be at a weight plateau

Weight is a tricky topic- perhaps we've changed up our nutritional intake, going to the gym a little bit more, drinking more water, etc. yet nothing seems to quite have changed. Unfortunately the reason why we gain weight can be numerous reasons, and therefore may need numerous approaches to have pounds shed. And weight is just a symptom, so it's important to consider all the possibilities.   

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Is it too late for prevention?

Never. The only thing may change, are the goals- such as if someone already has a terminal illness, at the point of needing hospice, or a genetic disease that cannot be reversed, then the goals become more palliative in improving their quality of life. However, did you know that millennials (born 1982-1994, rough estimate, as there are breakdowns in-between) have the lowest mortality rate, first time in history that a generation is lower than the ones before? 

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How Your Birthday Affects Your Health

Astrology is sometimes looked upon as not quite a science, but on the contrary, it can provide valuable information to who we are! We are made up of mostly water, which can be affected by our atmosphere, including planetary alignment- think of how some people's joints hurt more in certain weather than others.

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What Exactly is Hormone Imbalance

Let's start by going over what hormones actually are. Hormones are a certain type of chemical messenger created in endocrine glands, such as the hypothalamus, thyroid, pancreas, ovaries, testes, etc. And when those lines of communication get thrown off balance by our environment, stress, poor diet, and other factors, there's an imbalance with symptoms to match. 

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