“What can I do for hair loss/hair thinning?” is a common question amongst both men and women alike as either they didn’t think it would happen to them, feel it’s happening to early in life, or just flat out feel like it shouldn’t be happening at all! Reflecting back to this quote, hair issues can develop for a number of reasons, so of course it’s important to provide supportive therapies, it’s just as important to address the processes of why we’re in this scenario in the first place.Read More
Pretty much sums it up. Except change is hard. We can eat those veggies, the grilled chicken (or beans, depending on preference), eat super clean, and then little by little the foods that got us to this place where we realized we wanted to lose weight are back in our diet plan. Or maybe they’re not but now we’re just miserable. We feel like we can’t go out with friends, enjoy a single bit of _____ (fill in your desired food here), or we’ll get bloated/can’t sleep/gain weight, etc. So let’s rephrase- it’s not that it’s hard, is that it challenges who we are, our lifestyle, and those solid brain connections.Read More
Do you look like your family? Do they have the same health concerns? Well to some extent you can blame mom and/or dad for those cravings, body shape, difficulty in losing weight, etc. At conception, we receive either a X or Y chromosome from the father, and a X from the mother to determine if we are male or female, respectively. Each person donates an additional 22 chromosomes of information. Chromosomes are lined up next to each other in pairs, with a plethora of information on each strand.Read More
We are the only species that can make the decision as to our identity, and in the case above, an elephant has been conditioned since they were little to comply even though with their size and strength, they can easily tear down the tent. However, in humans, because we are the only ones to understand the unconscious and conscious mind, we can also have a lot of ‘stuff’ in our way. Different outcomes means different thought processes, habits, all requiring our mind AND body to undergo rewiring. As soon as you understand these reasons for holding you back, your conscious brain will start forming new connections with your unconscious brain to heighten awareness and shift what you’ve been doing.Read More
Tough love, I know, and we may have been there at some point, whether it’s the mid afternoon ‘pick me up’, end of the day decision fatigue where we just don’t give two hoots anymore, stress eating, eating because we’re bored, or someone orders something and we haven’t had that in forever.. And I’m sure there’s more scripts running through our heads (I already thought of a few more because I’ve been there too). We’re also brilliant and know to some extent what we’re doing, but change and willpower take energy, strategy, a plan, and then we may feel guilty. Good news- yes, we do need to take responsibility, but there’s ways of optimizing our physiology to tip the odds in our favor.Read More
In other words, age and genetics to some extent play a role in our metabolism, but it doesn’t mean it has to be an excuse of why we can’t lose weight! It just means we may need to work a little harder in the meantime to change old habits that got us to this place, and truly understand/listen to how our body works. And truth be told… everyone is different.Read More
Weight is so much more than calories in/calories out- it plays a role, but that in conjunction with potentially may other things going on, can seem like an uphill battle. And it kind of is. Chances are you didn’t just wake up one morning however many pounds heavier, but it was over a period of time where you did wake up one morning, and your clothes didn’t fit right, you felt lethargic/not good, thought the scale was broken or that higher number is actually muscle (if you’re working out- oh I’ve been there too!), or wondered why it could went to your abdomen instead of _______-> fill in the blank with desired body part.Read More
“It takes about 13 hours to build a Toyota, and 6 months to build a Rolls Royce.” Just like in health, a few pieces of kale won’t cure everything, and a day at the gym won't turn you into a body builder (both are good starts). We’ve been conditioned that we can ‘take a pill for ____’ (Toyota level), except we’re not going out-supplement or out-medicate a less than optimal lifestyle. I’ve tried, my patients have tried (before they saw me), and people have told me they’ve tried. And if it works, it works for a certain amount of time that quells the concern/symptom, but then it comes back, or something else appears/returns, or a dose has to be readjusted- yet if we channel our inner child and ask ‘why is this happening’, do we begin to understand the our complexities and nourish the motivation it takes to become the Rolls Royce of health.Read More
If you feel like you’re getting shuttled through a system, or that you’re being told you’re fine when you feel like something is off, or wondering if you’re fine why you’re on medication or being recommended supplements, or - and last one - nothing seems to be getting better (i.e. can’t lose weight, not sleeping right). Maybe you got a thorough work-up, or basic yearly bloodwork, and then all the numbers still come back in range. Or they’re slightly off but not enough to warrant medication, but let’s watch and wait. You’re not alone.. and this is way way more common than it should be.Read More
Logically, if something is low, like oil in a car, just fill it up to replace it. If only the body was that simple.. we know it’s not, but we may not always grasp its complexities as that’s why whenever a medication or supplement is offered to solely replace, other problems still occur. The endocrine system is comprised of at least 7 different organs + fat cells (yes, our fat cells secrete hormones and signals too) with at least 3 different messages that go to certain organs. That’s at least 21 conversations happening at any given time, and sometimes those conversations need the attention of other structures like our heart, bones, and gut, for example, to optimize function. However, those conversations can get muddled when there’s not enough nutrients to make those signals, too much stress, poor sleep, poor lifestyle, and a sedentary lifestyle. Symptoms occur when there’s something like a rock concert of dis-ease going on inside our body and those conversations have to get really loud.Read More
Weight is a symptom- not a disease, an imperfection, something to be shamed, or beat yourself up about. I can relate because in the middle of medical school I gained 20 pounds in 4 months, and just told myself I was bloated and the clothes shrank in the drier. Amazing how defense mechanisms kick in.. In any case, what really happened was that there were many more concerns going on that had to be healed, because clearly this did not happen overnight, but through a culmination of many processes that went unnoticed until well, they were.Read More
Synthroid, otherwise knows as it’s generic name Levothyroxine, is commonly given when people have underactive thyroid (hypothyroid), or Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune hypothyroid (antibodies disrupting thyroid function). It replaces T4, a hormone produced by our thyroid gland in the inactive version, where then predominantly the liver, to a lesser extent the gut, and remainder of the body converts it to the active form, T3. T4’s half life is about 5-7 days, taking longer to break down, versus T3’s half life of about 1 day- thyroid is metabolism, so given a short-term dose can ramp up our whole system (aka T3), hence why we’re commonly given T4. However, if we’re stressed, the body converts T4 to a hormone called reverse T3 (rT3), which is also inactive.Read More
The check engine light in a car is one of the worst lights to come on in the car because it's so vague. It can mean literally anything. Super comforting too when thinking about all the different parts in the car..-> sarcsam. So we may google or post on facebook or ask friends (kind of sounds like that show, 'Who wants to be a millionaire') to see if anyone has experienced the same thing and what we should do. Maybe we find the answer and the light goes off- but what if it comes back on again. And even though it went off, why was it there in the first place, aka do we really know our car well enough to know why, and if this will happen again? At this point you may be on the way to the mechanic so they can give you the full work-up, diagnosis, and prognosis.Read More
Cholesterol is the building block of hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, cortisol (stress hormone), and aldosterone (responsible for our salt/water balance). Cholesterol is comprised of a number of particles that each serve a function such as:
-LDL ('bad' cholesterol; but not really bad because it delivers cholesterol to cells. The real question is 'what predisposes it to oxidizing in a way that causes damage'- more on that later).
-HDL ('good' cholesterol; transports cholesterol molecules to liver to get metabolized. Yet over 75 is not so good as elevated levels can be an inflammatory marker).
-Triglycerides (a marker of sugar/carbohydrate intake, as it's energy for later use).
There are a few more cholesterol markers, but these are the main ones.
We know we're different than the next person, yet there's so much advice that seems generic that it's can be difficult to differentiate what's right for you, and can even include some trial and error (hopefully not much of the latter). Just like the blood type diet offers insight on eating right for our type, we also have a body type that helps guide our nutritional intake and fitness motivation. Especially when it comes to weight, it's an uphill battle as our fat cells are their own endocrine organ that tend to mess with our already probably somewhat off balanced hormones.Read More
Cruciferous vegetables.. some of the most nutrient-dense vegetables on the planet are in the form of broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, cabbage, collards, watercress, brussels sprouts and arugula. They are incredibly high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and can help us lose weight, detox, and protect us against cancer and heart disease-related conditions. They are best cooked in coconut oil, or sauteed in olive oil, or other healthy fats, as they also have a high content of fat-soluble nutrients that are best absorbed when cooked in fats.Read More
As humans we are meant to move, live, love, laugh, and enjoy life- yet as one of the most developed species, we also have a wide range of emotions (thank you Mercury in retrograde for emphasizing these- it's when communication and technology can go wonky) that can also make us appreciate those joyful moments. And to hone in on the first characteristic, movement is incredibly important to our health, allowing optimal blood flow (carries oxygen for additional energy), lymphatic movement, and nutrients to circulate to our cells, improving digestion, detoxification, metabolism, sleep, and memory/thought processes.Read More
Diet and exercise... I know, exactly what you wanted to hear (please note sarcasm), or maybe you actually did because you've already made some changes and want confirmation you're on the right path. And the more you eat your veggies and move your body, many other health concerns may improve too, which doesn't always happen with a weight loss supplement. Unfortunately, some of these supplements land people in the Emergency Room, mess with their thyroid in the long-term (controls weight, metabolism), leave us not feeling good after the course usually due to poor adrenal function (constant revving up of our systems leads to a crash), and can cause serious, sometimes deadly, cardiac issues like heart attack or stroke.Read More
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').Read More
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.Read More