Conditions

Hot Flashes

Good ol’ hot flashes. I would say that almost 50% of the women I see suffer with them. I constantly hear from people that you can't do anything about it and that it's normal for everyone at a certain age to have them. 

NOT TRUE.  NOT TRUE at all.  It may be true that most people have them, but it doesn't make it NORMAL.  Guess what?! There are all natural supplements that can help!  No need for hormone replacement therapy which throws your body out of whack!

Yes it is very common for women going through the big, awful, dreaded menopause to have hot flashes, however it does not have to be that way!  I remember traveling with my mom in the winter time - the windows were rolled down while we were all shivering and yelling for her to roll up the windows.  About 5 minutes into the windows being up, she would roll them back down.

Up, down, up, down.  I don't know how we all didn't catch colds from that or frost bite! 

After getting her on a supplement regimen she is hot flash free!  It is not an overnight process but it is something that can be done fairly quickly.  Also ask Lori.  She very rarely, if ever, has had a hot flash and she will be proud to tell you why. 

Hot flashes are a way to let you know that your hormone producing glands (thyroid, adrenals, ovaries, pituitary, hypothalamus) are out of sync.  When women go through menopause they rely on the adrenals to make the sex hormones (instead of the ovaries).  Guess what body part has been stressed all your life and now you are asking it to do just one more job... the adrenals!

Your adrenal glands aka stress glands are supposed to help you cope and deal with stressors in your life.  In most people they never get a chance to take a breather. Stress can be good or bad and it doesn’t have to be one large stress to over work them. It could be having little children, taking care of your elderly parents, having a job you love but has a lot of pressure attached to it, not getting enough sleep at night because you are so busy, etc. The adrenals have a right to be tired. So when they have to do one more job because the ovaries go into ‘retirement’ the adrenals/stress glands just can’t keep up and you get symptoms as a result.

The liver also plays a huge role in the process too.  It is the major detox center in your body which is a huge job. Not only does it filter out toxins but excess hormones too. Another way I think of the liver is a hormone gate keeper. It the gate keeper is stuck shut (‘clogged up’ or worn out) excess hormones can’t get out effectively and that can cause stereotypical menopausal symptoms.

Your body is going through a shift and anytime you personally go through a change there is always a transition period, right? So why not prepare your body ahead of time before the change occurs.  Or if you happen to be in the full swing of things and have any signs or issues (hot flashes or anything else) let us know.  Please don't be fooled that this is normal.  Let us help you with those changes in life!

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Fibromyalgia

Do you know anyone who has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or is that person you? It is becoming increasingly more common and I am seeing more and more people with this vague diagnosis. It gives people a diagnosis, but they never really know why or what to do. They/you/whoever will more than likely be put on antidepressants to help you ‘feel’ better or possibly muscle relaxers to help manage the pain, but I rarely, if ever, see that make a noticeable difference. The problem with me is why do people never find out WHY!?

Here is what I believe to be the reason why many people have fibromyalgia or CFS-
1) Past viral infection that is still lingering around. A lot of these people had mono, EBV, or a pretty major viral infection (hepatitis, shingles, herpes, etc.) in their younger years. I believe there also could be an undetected Lyme’s disease possibility as well.

2) Candida/Yeast is present. No you do not have to currently have a yeast infection to be full of candida or yeast. Men can have this issue too- not just women. These people have been on a lot of antibiotics when they were kids or as adults. Maybe for a bad infection, acne, sinus infections, recurrent ear infections, surgeries, etc. Maybe you were the girl who was on antibiotics for 6 months for acne. Or someone who had cellulitis and was pumped full of antibiotics which helped, but 6 years down the road they can’t figure out why your body just hurts all over and you have no energy to do anything at all.

3) Adrenal fatigue. Now this isn’t something most people may be familiar with, but it can be a root cause of fibromyalgia or also a side effect of it as well. Regardless, it needs to be addressed. The adrenals are your stress glands. If they have been hit with major stressor after stressor (major life changes- babies, new jobs/no jobs, moving, toxic relationships, divorces, major life crisis, etc.) this can be a HUGE culprit. The adrenals get knocked down so hard that they have a hard time ever bouncing back. They can also hit fatigue from never getting a chance to reboot.

For example: You used to keep going and going and pride yourself on working 7 days a week, 10 hours a day and never getting tired. That was until you hit a major wall and haven’t been the same since. You never gave your adrenal/stress glands a chance to reboot. They ran and ran until they couldn’t any more. Just like if we kept asking you to run and when you stopped you had to start back up and run again. You would be able to do that for a little while until you hit a point where you couldn’t physically move anymore. In a way, that is kind of what happens. They can’t keep up anymore.

There is a lot more that can be discussed on each point above, but that gives you a general overview. As a health care practitioner it is very upsetting to see patients feel so hopeless and on antidepressants because they will be in pain for the rest of their life. I firmly believe this is untrue if people clean up their diets and get on the correct vitamins and specific supplements (and address the possible emotional stressors that could be involved). Once that happens and the body gets a true chance to heal the Band- Aids can start coming off (aka antidepressants, muscle relaxers, etc).

You NEED nourishing foods, lots of water, good supplements to rebuild the adrenals, and address any past viral infections or candida issues. This will help lower the inflammation in your body which leads to pain. If your body is inflamed it will more than likely hurt- which is why you need to work on lowering inflammation as a whole. You need clean water and to cut out sugar and gluten (and dairy in some people). If you need a place to start, look into doing Whole30 or read the book It Starts with Food.

You are not destined to feel exhausted daily and live in pain for the rest of your life. You first have to want a change. Then get back to eating whole foods (fruits, veggies, clean meats and cut out the processed crap). Also, find the right person to get you on good quality, clean supplements. They can be LIFE CHANGING and don’t mask symptoms, but help nourish and rebuild in areas that need it. We have worked with countless cases at the office and some people saw changes in days and others in months. Those people have decided THEY ARE WORTH it. They are willing to change their diet and ditch most of the processed foods. They are willing to take supplements and do cleanses to help get rid of toxins and inflammation in their body. They have decided they won’t just patch their symptoms with Band-Aids, but start to heal at a deeper level in their body. Please don’t fall victim to thinking you are destined to pain, depression and exhaustion. Change can happen.

Cholesterol Myth

Did you know only 25% of your cholesterol comes from diet and 75% is made by your body? Cholesterol is made in the liver, digestive system and skin. If you lower your intake of cholesterol, your body actually has to kick into overdrive to make more. It has a set point and, no matter if you eat it or not, your body will make sure it gets to that level. If you stop eating it or lower your consumption, your body has to work overtime and gets stressed trying to make up for your lack of intake. Give your body a break and DO NOT avoid foods that contain cholesterol, like protein and eggs, but obviously skip the fast food fried crap.

Fat and cholesterol are NOT the problem. Sugars are the problem.

Cholesterol is the fire truck that responds to the fire aka inflammation in the body. If your cholesterol is high it means you have a lot of inflammation and fires going on which means you need a lot of fire trucks. Blaming cholesterol for issues is like blaming the fire trucks for coming to respond to the fire. As a society we are so misinformed and blaming the wrong issue. We need to stop blaming the fire trucks (aka cholesterol) and start searching for the fires (inflammation in the body).

PS - You need cholesterol to make both sex and adrenal hormones. If you have hormonal issues or concerns, you need to eat the building blocks that make them. It is crucial! Proteins and eggs are very, very, very important. Avoiding foods with cholesterol and expecting hormonal issues to resolve is like trying to build a house without a foundation. It is not going to work!

Let's stop blaming the firetruck for the fire.  Cholesterol is our friend!

Nashville’s Birthing Resources and Classes

We’re talking babies again! So far we have covered: birthing facilities/options, doulas, and lightly talked about birth plans. Now we are going to talk about childbirth classes, lactation consultants, and vaccine choices.

The old saying of “You don’t know what you don’t know” is so true when it comes to pregnancy and birth. Pre-pregnancy me found the thought of childbirth classes silly.  Who needs to be told how to breathe?! We’ve seen it done in movies thousands of times over! Pregnant and ‘crunchy’ Becca, however, quickly learned I was so naïve. Sure, if you aren’t too concerned about pain management and want your epidural (which is totally fine!) there aren’t as many options you really need to worry about. If you, however, are someone that is really trying for a natural birth you get to choose between Hypnobabies, Hypnobirth, Bradley Method, Lamaze, Birthing From Within, and many others.  Who knew!?

All of these methods have their benefits, so it really is a matter of finding which works best for you and your birthing partner. Ask yourself how you respond to pain, how you manage pain, and what you picture yourself doing during labor. Many women have a visual in their head of what that delivery room activity looks like and that can really help narrow things down. We chose Hypnobabies (I didn’t know there was a difference in Hypnobabies and Hypnobirth at the time) Home Study. Admittedly, I didn’t really stick with it and never even broke it out during delivery, but have heard the in-person classes are far more valuable.

There are also many other classes offered in our area. These include Newborn Care, Sibling Care, and even breastfeeding courses. The one course I really regret not taking last time was the nursing class. I really went through pregnancy thinking, “nursing is natural, you just put the baby to your breast and he/she feeds.” Remember that saying I mentioned earlier about not knowing what you don’t know? Yeah I learned quickly after delivery that Lactation Consultants are true angels!

Because my labor was so long and had some complications, nursing was affected a bit. Add in a small lip tie and lots of food sensitivities and it was a perfect storm for frustration, tears, and prayers. Since I delivered at Vandy, I had the ability to go back and utilize their lactation services a few times after leaving the hospital and this helped a ton! After a few months, I then started attending a group called Weigh to Go Baby. Mothers met with their babes and we weighed the babies, nursed, and then weighed again to measure how much milk the babies were actually getting. This was super helpful for me to see that he was getting enough.

There are also private companies that offer lactation services. Most everyone in our area that has a baby knows the name Kate Cropp and I highly suggest her group! She is wonderful and so knowledgeable. Then there is also La Leche League. Depending on what area you live in, you can attend the group meeting and get a load of valuable help and info. Another source to use is www.KellyMom.com. This site is great if you want to read info online, check how often you should nurse at any given time, and get answers to many other random nursing questions.

Now, to a topic that ruffles a lot of feathers - vaccine choices…yes I said choices. Because it can be such a sensitive topic, I am going to keep this one pretty light. Regardless of your stance, as parents we are all on the same side - making a choice that we know to be in our child’s best interest. Period. Anytime a decision involves possible mandates and those mandates involve corporate profit, we should all be able to make an informed parental choice and go from there. 

I’ve had people ask my thoughts on vaccinations or what we chose to do.  While I answer their questions, my biggest push is to make sure they make an informed decision. Don’t just read one side of the argument or listen to one person’s opinion, take the time to read both sides, read vaccine inserts, watch movies, read books, ask your pediatrician. After all of that, then decide where you stand on everything. I’m a big supporter of having an open mind - I wouldn’t be in an alternative field if I wasn't!

In the state of Tennessee you can be vaccinated fully on schedule, vaccinate on an adjusted schedule, or choose to avoid vaccinations with a religious or medical exemption. The choice is completely yours as the parent. This goes for any vaccinations at birth, too. The Hepatitis B and Vitamin K vaccines are the two most widely discussed after birth choices, along with the ‘eye goop’. Until July 1 st , 2016, it was actually a misdemeanor in our state to opt out of the antibiotic eye ointment, although many hospitals did not enforce the charges. Many women feel that the routine procedure is not necessary if the mother was not put at risk for Gonorrhea or Chlamydia and tested negative for it during pregnancy. As for the Vitamin K shot, some women choose to use liquid vitamin k drops on a designated schedule to help boost baby’s levels - the most popular brand of drops is from our Biotics line.

These are all big decisions as a parent! Do your research, find where you stand, and then find a doctor that you feel not only comfortable with medically, but that also supports your decision. Just as some parents look for pediatricians with separate sick waiting rooms and Saturday office hours, many look for doctors that do or don’t support vaccinations across their patient base.

Nashville Birth and Babies
www.nashvillebirthandbabies.com

Nashville Birth Network
http://www.nashvillebirthnetwork.org/

Vaccine Inserts
http://www.vaccinesafety.edu/package_inserts.htm

Nashville’s Birthing Centers and Other Options for ‘Crunchy’ Mamas

This past weekend I was talking to my sister back home in Illinois. It is a really exciting time in our family because both she and I are having little girls and are due within just a few weeks of each other. As we were talking, the usual topic of pregnancy and delivery came up and it made me realize how fortunate I am to live in an area that has so many resources for pregnant women and new moms. The town I come from back home has wonderful healthcare, but the network of doulas, midwives, and other birthing resources are really just starting to gain traction. Since becoming pregnant, I’ve had patients ask me many questions about my choices, plans, and options; so I thought a blog post would be a great way to give our patients some resources. It’s a bit long, so grab a glass of water and get comfy!

I grew up with the typical picture in my mind of what delivery looked like. You lie in a bed, get an epidural and then the baby comes out. After becoming more holistic and naturally-minded, I realized there is a whole other world out there. Led by the push from the Vanderbilt Midwives, Nashville has had at least one hospital that has offered laboring tubs for a few years now. In the last couple of years since I had our son, Vanderbilt is no longer the only hospital with that option. Women wanting a hospital birth with a natural approach, now have the option of midwives and laboring tubs at both Vanderbilt and St. Thomas Midtown (formerly Baptist). While you still can’t birth in the tubs at either hospital, I can say from experience the tubs help tremendously with pain regulation during labor. Even if you find yourself not able to get one of the tubs, the midwives staff is very open to letting you walk, move, take a warm shower, and try other means of pain management.

Up until 2013 women in this area had only two options if they didn’t want a home birth and didn’t want a hospital birth-and neither option was very close to home. The Farm in Summertown is a nationally- known resource for natural births and home to the famous Ina May Gaskin-she has a few books that I highly suggest reading if you want a natural birth! While this is a great and valuable option to have so near us, it is still about 65 miles from Cool Springs and this scared me off the first time around. The other option women had was to drive to the Infinity Birth Center in Cookeville-still over an hour away.

In 2013, Baby & Co opened their doors on West End. With their opening, women in our area now have a close option for a natural non-hospital/non- home birth. Women that choose to birth there can labor AND birth in the tubs, the rooms are very ‘home-y’, and your post-partum stay is only 6-12 hours. The center is staffed by Certified Nurse Midwives and one of my favorite midwives formerly on the Vanderbilt team -Lauren Drees - is there and she is so, so amazing. Baby & Co was a serious consideration for us this pregnancy, but because of the trust and relationships I built with the Vandy Midwives last time and the grace they gave to allow me to have the birth I wanted while in a hospital, we stuck with the Vandy Midwives again this time.

The other option women have is a home birth. This option can have the least interventions and the most peace for many mamas. You can truly assemble your birth ‘Dream Team’ and be in the comfort of your home the whole time. Labor tubs are also available for rent or purchase so you can literally birth anywhere you feel most at ease in your home. Women that choose this option most always have a midwife for prenatal, delivery, and postnatal care; a doula; and a support person. I have known friends to also utilize their chiropractors and practitioners of other healing mechanisms like acupuncture to help the ease of delivery, as well. If you know you want a natural birth, don’t want to leave the comfort of your home, and are fine not being in a hospital-this is a GREAT option for you!

With this pregnancy I am using a new resource I didn’t take advantage of the first time-a Doula! Vanderbilt Midwives offer free volunteer doula services during delivery on an on-call basis, so I was exposed to the benefits with the first pregnancy. For whatever reason, I just never hired one and figured we would just use the on-call doula when we got there. My labor wasn’t exactly textbook and didn’t go as planned-I don’t know why I thought it would- so I never got to take advantage of the on-call doula either. This time around I knew it was a must-have and we have teamed with Whitney Cantrell of Nashville Doula Services. We are blessed to have many doulas in the Nashville area. Some operate on their own and others are in a group. We chose Whitney because of a referral from our son’s pediatrician and I must say she is so great!

Doulas are a valuable asset during delivery to help you with different birthing positions, natural pain management options, and to be that voice of reason and knowledge when you and your partner are in the thick of things. I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t remembering every birth wish and desire I had in our birth plan when we were in hour 20 of active labor. Nashville Doula Services also has other services they offer and packages to take advantage of on their website (I will list all resources at the end of this post). One thing I haven’t stopped bragging about to my sister is the Postpartum Care. With my first delivery, I was very blessed to have my husband home for a week, my mother-in- law stay with us for almost a week, and my mother stay with us as well. All were very helpful while I adjusted to this new life. My only hang-up was the lack of time alone and independence I had during that time. With Nashville Doula Services, I am using a package that offers postpartum care along with the family help. You can use it in chunks of time with a minimum of 4 hours each time. The doula comes over to help watch the baby while you shower, sleep, stare out the window, or… stuff your face with chocolate. She will also help with light household items like putting dinner together for you.

We’ve covered many of the prenatal and birthing options that are at our fingertips in the Nashville area. No matter what location you choose to birth in, make sure to write down a birth plan that you feel confident with. One that includes the atmosphere/vibe you want in the delivery room, your wishes for pain management, your wish for or against an episiotomy, and what you would like to happen immediately after the baby comes. There are many templates out there to work from. Just Google ‘Birth Plan’ and find one that flows well for you. Some ideas for your birth plan that I used are:

‘low lights’
‘calming music’
‘ability to eat light snacks and drink water when desired’
‘labor in the tub’
‘no one speak directly to me about epidurals, relay everything through my husband’
‘ability to push in any position I find comfortable’
‘skin to skin for at least 30 minutes with delayed cord-clamping after baby’s arrival’

Whatever location you choose is right for you, ask many questions and make sure you feel confident and comfortable with your choice. The biggest thing for me was to make sure I felt listened to and respected going into the delivery. I didn’t want to feel forced into anything. Thankfully I never felt that way and the Vandy Midwives supported me even when there was a push from an OB for a C-section almost 24 hours after arriving at the hospital. Most importantly, if your delivery doesn’t go as planned and you end up with an epidural or a c-section- DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP! You are still an incredible mother that carried your baby for 9 months, made positive choices for his/her care, and did what you could to birth as naturally as you wanted.

Stay tuned for the follow up post on birthing classes, lactation consultants, vaccines, and other postpartum choices!

Vanderbilt Nurse Midwives
www.vanderbiltnursemidwives.com/

Infinity Birth Center-Cookeville
www.infinitybirthingcenter.com

Baby & Co
www.babyandcompany.com

Nashville Doula Services
http://nashvilledoulaservices.com/

The Farm-Summertown
http://thefarmmidwives.org/

Meditation and Mindfulness

Many of our patients come to us in times of need, seeking help for a specific issue. There are issues that are either ongoing and chronic or very acute. Both can contribute greatly to someone’s mental and emotional states. Often for many patients, it’s more of a vicious circle of what caused what. Did stress and anxiety cause the digestive issues? Or did the digestive issues cause the stress and anxiety? Either is a possible scenario, and both have stress and unease in common.

Because of the whole food supplements we utilize, stress and anxiety can be greatly helped through replenishing nutritional deficiencies in the body. Calming minerals, like magnesium, become depleted, hormones become imbalanced, and adrenals become taxed after days and months or even years of worry. While what we do with patients is very valuable and helpful, I also emphasize the importance of having “me time”, of being mindful and taking even just 10 minutes each day to clear thoughts and meditate. For some, in the beginning it can seem like an impossible task to sit still for even 10 minutes and not think about anything. Not your bills, not your health, not your kids’ needs, not your boss or deadlines. Just find a quiet place and be still.

With the use of technology these days, meditating has become both easier AND harder. There are many apps out there that make meditating easier because they offer both guided and open meditations. My favorite app for this is CALM.

You can do a series of meditations on a given topic like forgiveness or you can just set the app to a designated amount of time and sit back and listen to one of the many options for sound.  My favorite is the beach setting. Conversely, technology has made meditating far more difficult because it is so much harder to tear yourself away from that little screen and not allow yourself to be interrupted by a text, call, Facebook notification, or email.

The many benefits of meditation and mindfulness are endless and include better stress handling, improved immunity due to less stress, happier disposition, clearer mind to offer your loved ones, improved attention span, reduced stress and anxiety, and improves sleep!

Next time you are feeling the weight of life a little too heavy on your shoulders, ask yourself when you last had just 10 minutes to think of nothing but your breathing. Check out the CALM app and sign up for Deepak Chopra’s quarterly meditation challenge! I love taking his 21 day challenge and have completed almost every one of them in the past few years. It is just 15 minutes per day for 21 days. You owe it to yourself!

Coffee + Collagen

If you're a devoted reader, you've heard us talk about collagen and how great it is for you.  Today I'm going to share how you can include collagen in your morning routine! 

Coffee is my personal vice, I think a lot of us can relate with that!  It's a morning routine that most people won't break, so it's the perfect opportunity to get an extra source of protein for the day.

A simple, tasteless addition is collagen! It adds 20 grams of protein to your cup of coffee. I also add 1 tbs of coconut oil, so you get almost a perfect meal of protein and fat! Getting that protein in helps prevent blood sugar spikes and hard energy crashes.

The beauty of collagen is it helps support the elasticity and regeneration of your joints, cartilage, skin and hair. I have had many patients say their chronic joint pain went away once they added collagen to their daily routine. It is touted as anti-aging because it greatly supports the skins elasticity and keeps it youthful because as we age the production of collagen goes down which results in fine lines, wrinkles, joint pain, etc.

Collagen can also help you get a deeper sleep because of the individual amino acids and all the protein keeps your blood sugar stable. If your blood sugar crashes in the middle of the night your body naturally wakes you up. Taking the collagen before bed can prevent that from happening and help you sleep soundly through the night.

You can put it in warm or cold drinks and it's great in smoothies to get extra protein! It really is tasteless! I was putting it in my husband's coffee for the longest time without him knowing! It's a great way to help kids get enough protein.

If you want to use it for sleep put 2 scoops in calming tea before you go to bed.  We highly, highly recommend it at our office!  Add in 2 scoops a day and I think you will be pleasantly surprised!

**The brand we carry is Vital Proteins. It is made from a superior quality of grass-fed beef.

Emotional Healing with Flower Essences

Some times in the office we will hit a plateau where no matter what nutritional approach we try, nothing seems to work.  This is when I usually know there is an emotional block that is preventing our patients from moving forward and healing.  I do not ever, ever ask people about details of what they are going through or what emotional traumas they have had in the past. I really don’t need to know details and it is not a counseling session.  That is not my place, not my job and I am not qualified to do that.  However, I can test these products called Flower Essences to help break an emotional pattern that a person may or may not know they have.

Flower Essences are made by Nature Sunshine with Bach Flowers.  Bach Flowers help to heal the connection between the body and mind and get rid of negative emotions that we dwell consciously or unconsciously. The ones we carry at the office are blends to help people work through specific emotions. There are fear, grief and anger formulas and they each come in a suppressed or vented formula. Suppressed formulas are for people who stuff emotions down, pretend like everything is okay and push through. The problem is we never fully have the emotions, but stuff them down which can actually cause a lot of stress and even sickness in the body.

The others are vented formulas. These are for people whose thoughts are on repeat. They know they need to move forward or get past something, but the events, thoughts, situations, or even people who trigger them keep playing on repeat like a hamster wheel. They become fixated or stuck. If you are on your hamster wheel and are unable to move forward, it is really hard on your body and your ‘stress’ glands aka the adrenals. The flower essences help people process, move forward and heal!

When testing these on patients (and myself too) I cannot tell you how many times people laugh or give me a big smile when I show them the description of what they tested for.

 I don't really know what patients are going through emotionally or what their suppressed emotions may be, but it is fun to test and actually see if it matches up to what they may be going through.  I have had SO many success stories with these, allowing people to make emotional breakthroughs and changes in their thought process in both kids and adults.

Flower Essences can be ordered by here or feel free to call or stop in the office if you have any questions.

Release It (Vented Grief Formula) (Stock number- 8779-1)

  • May assist the body with the grieving process.
  • May help in letting go of the past.
  • May assist with emotional distress.

**This formula helps people not forget about the past, but allow them to process and move forward. Amazing for replaying events or situations in your head over and over and not being able to move forward.

Be Courageous (Vented Fear Formula) (Stock number 8786-0)

  • May assist with courage and self-confidence.
  • May help with indecisiveness, uncertainty and nervous tension.

**Great for constant worry or fear of known and unknown events or someone who constantly feels fearful and doesn’t know why.

Keep Cool (Vented Anger Formula) (Stock number- 8784-2)

  • May assist the body with feelings of anger and irritability.
  • May also assist with empathy and communication

**Great for those that are frustrated, irritable, or on edge; can use daily for frustration. For example- stress/being on edge at work; going home to visit family that can make people stressed or on edge, etc. Great for kids who have angry outbursts or constantly frustrated.

Find Strength (Suppressed Anger Formula) (Stock number- 8781-4)

  • May assist with feelings of unworthiness.
  • May help the body with emotional strength and help deal with occasional emotional stress.

**Amazing for those whose anxiety heightens in the evening and night time

Open Heart (Suppressed Grief Formula) (Stock number 8782-6)

  • May assist with the ability to love.
  • May help release suppressed emotion.
  • May help increase empathy and compassion.

**For those who have trouble loving and trusting others or even loving themselves; they may seem cold on the outside or shut down in their emotions towards others or themselves.

Be Response-Able (Suppressed Fear Formula) (Stock number 8783-8)

  • May help encourage self-responsibility.
  • May help with self-defeating behavior.

**Amazing for list makers and beat themselves up for not completing their list of 100 things (I know this all too well); hard on themselves; OCD or like things done orderly or cleaned up.

Distress Remedy (Same as Rescue Remedy) (Stock number 8778-3)

  • Supports emotional balance.
  • May assist the body with occasional emotional distress and emotional balance.

**Great for test anxiety; known triggers for stress- for example: giving speeches; nervous to fly or go to dentist, etc.

Hit a wall between 1 & 3? This post is for you.

Do you hit a wall between 1 and 3 pm?  Many people feel like they either need a nap, something sugary or caffeine.  If you are one of those people, don't reach fall for the cravings.  There are easy natural ways to bump up your energy and help you get through that midday slump.

When you hit this wall or feel like you need sugary foods or caffeine during these hours it means your adrenal glands are tired.  Adrenal glands are considered your stress glands. They pump out hormones to keep you going day in and day out.  They fire up with both good and bad stress, so each time there is a stressor it is like asking them to run a marathon.  Then another stressor comes and they have to run again. It's just an endless cycle!

If you had to run a one marathon after another, you eventually couldn't go anymore, but our bodies are amazing and the adrenals keep working day in and out.  They get tired too, though. When the adrenals are overworked, you feel tired.  When things get really bad, severe adrenal fatigue sets in and you feel overwhelmed very easily.  Another symptom people complain of is mid to lower back pain that feels like a deep bruise or ache that never goes away.

You are not destined to feel this way forever- by supporting your adrenal glands it is amazing how much better you can feel. I see this multiple times a day and it still amazes me how much better people feel by adding in the correct support. Many patients come in lifeless and ‘down’ on their first visit and by the second visit you can see their face get brighter, have happier dispositions and just feel better in general. It takes a lot time to rebuild, but getting on the right support can make a HUGE difference.

What can you do?  
Try to avoid stress! That is what most people say, but how realistic is it?  Not very - but you can choose to minimize it.  Do not say yes to everything and everyone - you will wear yourself down. Create boundaries and make time for yourself daily, even if it just 10 minutes a day.

Eat an avocado a day - great hormones and fuel for the adrenals
If you hit a dip in the afternoon, drink hot tea with 1 tbs of coconut oil - this keeps your blood sugar levels stable and doesn't spike them which stresses the adrenal glands even more
Keep your protein intake up - make sure to get 30 grams of protein in for breakfast.  I do it through a smoothie or eat turkey, chicken sausage, etc. with eggs for breakfast. You want to have protein at each meal.
Snack on nuts and seeds
If you are craving sugar - eat some protein first and a glass of water, then wait 15 minutes before indulging.  If you have to indulge try natural sugars like honey and maple syrup in moderation.

You can also support your adrenals through great supplements that we commonly use in the office. These are just a few of the many ones we use. The adrenal glands are part of the endocrine system - so we have to look at everything and not just single out the adrenals!

  • Adrenal Support by Nature Sunshine
    • Great to take a bottle when big stressors come up or life throws you a curve ball
  • Nervous Fatigue TCM by Nature Sunshine
    • Great for maintenance and protection of the adrenals
  • Mineral Chi Tonic by Nature Sunshine
    • Minerals are fuel for adrenals and this also has other great herbs for them too.  Its is a liquid which is easy to mix or take straight (not the best tasting thing but you can do it :)
  • Adrenal Desiccated by Standard Process
    • For very severe cases
  • Drenamin by Standard Process
    • Whole food based supplement for the adrenals
  • Min Tran by Standard Process
    • Relaxing minerals to relax the body and adrenals; Great for when the mind starts racing when you lay down to go to sleep!

Again there are SO many other supplements we use, but this is just a quick overview.  If the symptoms above sound like you, give us a call and we can help out.  You don't have to live run down or in a constant state of feeling overwhelmed. 

For order instructions on Nature Sunshine click here and for Standard Process visit the office or call 615-656-3558.

Photo Source.

Thyroid and It's 3 Important Minerals

The thyroid is one of the most common areas of 'weakness' I see in my office... as well as the liver and the adrenal glands.  The thyroid sits in the lower front part of your neck.  It makes hormones that influence the entire body!  It helps to control our metabolism, body temperature, hair/skin/nails, heart rate (people can get heart palpitations simply due to dysfunction in the thyroid), moods, energy levels (especially in the morning), and many other things!

Typically people with thyroid issues will present with one or more of the following things...
Inability to loose or gain weight, weak nails, brittle/dry hair, dry skin, heart palpitations, fatigue especially in the morning, brain fog, anxiety, depression, infertility, constipation or alternating constipation and diarrhea, acne, hot flashes, night sweats, high cholesterol (did you know the thyroid plays a part in managing cholesterol levels!!), menstrual issues and irregularities, as well as many other things!

I always check the thyroid function on each visit and here are couple things that can be done at home to help improve its function!

The 3 most important minerals the thyroid needs are:
1) Iodine
2) Selenium
3) Zinc

For each mineral I challenge you do the following things... 

Iodine:  Get tested in the office to see if you need iodine.  This is something that can drastically help the thyroid, but adding it when it is NOT needed can do more harm than good.  So in order to see how much you need AND IF you need it, stop by and get muscle tested!  Great foods that contain iodine are seaweed, turkey breast, and eggs.  And you may be thinking about regular table salt because it has iodine in it?!?  Well yes it does but it is fortified and NOT naturally occurring in it.  So instead make the switch to sea salt or even better Himalayan salt and get your iodine from naturally occurring sources.  For more info on salt check out
http://products.mercola.com/himalayan-salt/. 

Selenium: Selenium is the 2nd most important mineral for the thyroid.  A way to simply get the needed amount is to eat 4 Brazil nuts a day... only 4!  So go buy a bag of Brazil nuts and make this a daily habit. 

Zinc:  Lastly Zinc is very important for thyroid function and is linked to over 100 different enzymes in the body.  Enzymes are what is needed to make the body function properly.  When enzyme counts are low people get tired and sick... so why not do a simple check to see if you have enough zinc to make all the cells in your body work better.  The test (called the Zinc taste test) can be done in my office for free, takes 10 seconds, and quickly allows us to see if you need to be supplementing with Zinc.  The first time I did the Zinc taste test I failed miserably... so that makes me more passionate about it now.  I try to make sure each patient does it and if we haven't let me know!  If you are deficient like I was there is a supplement to take for only a month or 2 which increases your levels to normal.

I hope this has been somewhat informative and helpful for all you thyroid patients out there!  Call the office if you need any help or have any questions!  And eat 4 Brazil nuts a day :)

Acid Reflux Remedy

If you or anyone you know suffers from acid reflux, keep reading!  Acid reflux actually happens because there is a deficiency in stomach acid.  Yep, that's correct; there is NOT enough stomach acid!  It may sound confusing, but when there is not enough stomach acid your body can't break down food properly, resulting in indigestion causing gas and bloating.  When the food isn't broken down properly it causes the regurgitation up into the esophagus causing what we call 'acid reflux'.  

When people have symptoms they typically take something which actually neutralizes the acid which is already low. This causes an even lower amount of stomach acid and only puts a Band-Aid on the acid reflux and does not fix the problem.

Stomach acid is there to help you digest food and kill off invaders such as bacterias and viruses and even parasites. If you or someone you know gets sick constantly, I would bet they have low stomach acid because their body's first line of defense (stomach acid) is lacking.  Obviously there are many other reasons people get sick, but that is one of the best places to start.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
There are a couple things you can do to help!  First, people who have ulcers from long term acid reflux have to treat this slowly.  You don't want to introduce more stomach acid when there is an ulcer. To test for this you can take 2 TBS of Apple Cider Vinegar with a little bit of water and see if this burns in your stomach area.  If it does, then you likely have a ulcer of some sort.  If you have an ulcer, there is no need to worry because we have 2 products at the office by Standard Process that help heal the ulcers and coat the stomach to help prevent reflux.  They are called Gastrex and Okra-Pepsin.  These are not the fix to acid reflux but are a natural 'Tums' that does not deplete stomach acid like antacids do.  

If you do the Apple Cider Vinegar test and it goes okay the 2 best supplements I use are PDA by Nature Sunshine and Zypan from Standard Process.  

These include stomach acid in them to help you break down food and actually fix the real root cause of reflux, low stomach acid.  If you have questions or concerns please contact the office.

For existing patients, we use Food Enzymes a lot too. This has a little stomach acid in it as well as other great things and enzymes to help you break down foods!

Note: Apple Cider Vinegar is great for digestion and I encourage people to take it with meals as often as possible.  Just fill up a shot glass half with Apple Cider Vinegar and half with water.  You can take it with a little more water to make the taste more mild.

Also, for those who are on the Candida Clear diet/Phase 1 it says no vinegars, however Apple Cider Vinegar is an exception to the rule.  It actually helps to combat candida and is one of the very few vinegars that can be used.  It has enzymes that help tremendously with digestion and also helps to create an environment for healthy bacteria to live in your digestive tract which in turn keeps candida in check.  

FUN FACT: Anyone with gray hair is deficient in stomach acid. So start taking apple cider vinegar or use one of the supplements above so you can increase your stomach acid levels and make sure you are digesting all your food properly!

The Truth About Acne

Acne oh acne. How I personally despise you and have struggled with you over the years.  I'm sure most of you can relate to this, too!  It's something we all have struggled with at some point in our life.  Want to know why and learn about my personal journey? Keep reading!

Acne is something that results from a toxicity issue, hormonal imbalances or food allergies.  If you come see us for an appointment, we sort through and figure out which of these (or all three) are causing your breakouts. I have found little things that help topically, but topical applications NEVER EVER address the real issue which stems from an internal issue mentioned above.

First we address toxicities to get the bad stuff out of your body safely and effectively. These toxicities are usually due to heavy metals, chemicals or candida.  All of which are tested at the office. If toxins aren’t being eliminated properly (via bowel movements, urine, lymphatic system and sweat) they have to come out somewhere. And that somewhere is the skin! Doing a good cleanse is key. I like to think of them as ‘oil changes’ that you do for your body just like you would for your car. Somehow most people take care of their cars better than their own body!

Secondly hormonal imbalances... This takes time to balance out, but YES it can be done safely, naturally and effectively with herbs and whole food supplementation.  (This is what was causing my breakouts.)  Women, for example, are typically estrogen dominate for a number of reasons.  One being that people's livers are sluggish and estrogen backs up, plus all the soy and phytoestrogens in our diet.  

Women can also be progesterone deficient.  This happens for 1 of 2 reasons.  You may be progesterone deficient because you aren't making enough OR because you have so much estrogen that the ratio between estrogen and progesterone is so off balance that it appears you are low in progesterone because of the high levels of estrogen.  Moral of the story -  we have to balance out the hormones. There are herbs to help us achieve this naturally!  This is exactly what made the biggest change in me.  Men also have hormonal imbalances typically due to testosterone levels and these hormonal levels can be balanced out by natural supplementation as well!

Third is food allergies.  This is typically due to an allergy such as dairy or high levels of simple carbohydrates (sugars) and processed food.  Cleaning up the diet and even adding in a digestive aid can really make all the difference in the world.

My personal journey

I have really struggled with acne as I have gotten older.  It has been a frustrating battle.  I have done so many cleanses, cleaned out heavy metals, chemicals, candida, etc.  I felt so much better, but it only changed my skin mildly. I eat really clean and have been on digestive support and still no change.  I have done different topical ointments, toners and there was no major change.  I have also been on different hormonal regulators and female support supplements but it wasn't until I got on one that specifically helped raise my progesterone levels naturally that I found the BIGGEST change.  It was crazy how quick it kicked in.  

So I did more research, progesterone levels decrease with high amounts of stress.  This is why my acne flared up significantly with undergrad, but even more so with chiropractic school where my stress levels were through the roof. It all made sense!

I had been working on decreasing my estrogen levels by detoxes and focusing on supporting my liver, but until my progesterone levels increased my skin didn't change at all.  I have never been confident about my skin, but when I finally connected all the dots I have noticed a huge change and feel confident!

Now it isn’t perfect all the time. Right now as I type this my skin is broken out from doing a liver cleanse, but I know why- and know it will clear up when I am done. It is my body’s way of purging out toxins and I am okay with that.

NO not everyone's skin issues are like mine.  They could be due to any one of the factors above.  I have seen people's skin clear up within a week by simply getting rid of toxins.  Every single person's journey is different.

DO NOT put your children on antibiotics for acne.  This may work but for all the wrong reasons.  It kills all good and bad bacteria in their digestive environment and sets them up for so many immune issues down the road.  

My husband was on antibiotics for over a month when he was a teenager for acne.  His family didn't know what else to do like most people (and he didn't know me at the time ;).  As a long term result he had a lot of fatigue and allergies because of candida which is directly related to antibiotic use.  Every year he would get a sinus infection or 2 and get on more antibiotics.  He has done multiple candida detoxes to reestablish balance after being on so many antibiotics and his immune system is so much better and energy levels too! (PS- he hasn’t had a sinus infection in over 4 years since doing his first candida cleanse.)  

Other popular acne medications out there make it mandatory for females to take pregnancy tests while they are on the medication.  This is because if they are on it while pregnant it causes extreme birth defects in the fetus.  Pregnant or not why would you want to put that in your body?! Safe and natural is the way to go, and even better there are no side effects! 

Please do not hesitate to call the office or email if you struggle with acne or know any teenagers that do and want help. Remember you skin is an external reflection of what is going on internally.

There are natural, safe and effective ways to combat acne and we want to help you do it!