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What is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Hashimoto thyroiditis is the most common form of thyroid gland inflammation (thyroiditis) and the most frequent cause of decreased thyroid hormone production hypothyroidism. It results from an autoimmune disorder, an attack on the thyroid gland by a person’s own immune system.
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ that lies flat against the windpipe in the throat. It produces the hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) and plays an important role in controlling the body’s metabolism.
With Hashimoto thyroiditis, the thyroid becomes enlarged, called a goiter. Thyroid gland tissue is slowly destroyed by white blood cells called lymphocytes that move into the thyroid gland and by one or more thyroid autoantibodies. This causes a progressive decrease in the production of thyroid hormones.
About 1 in 1,000 people are diagnosed annually with Hashimoto thyroiditis, and the number has been increasing over time due to improvements in diagnostic techniques. This disorder can affect anyone at any age but occurs most commonly in women who are between 30 and 50 years of age. The ratio of women to men diagnosed with the disease is 20 to 1. People with a family history of thyroid diseases or with other autoimmune diseases, especially type 1 diabetes or adrenal insufficiency are at increased risk.
Those affected by Hashimoto thyroiditis may not have any symptoms for several years, but eventually most will experience some degree of hypothyroidism that worsens over time.

Signs and Symptoms
Constipation
Depression
Dry skin
Fatigue
Forgetfulness
Increased sensitivity to cold
Menstrual irregularities, heavy and excessive bleeding
Muscle and joint pain
Muscle weakness
Sluggishness
Thinning hair
Weight gain
For pregnant women, increased risk of miscarriage

Tests
Testing is done to evaluate the health of the thyroid, diagnose Hashimoto thyroiditis, and monitor treatment.
To determine whether the thyroid is functioning properly and for monitoring thyroid function and hormone production, one or more of the following blood tests may be done:
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) – typically elevated in hypothyroidism
Free T4 – often decreased in primary hypothyroidism
Total or Free T3 – sometimes decreased but may be within the normal reference range, so is not as useful as free T4
Additional tests may be used to detect autoantibodies directed against the thyroid and to help diagnose Hashimoto thyroiditis:
Anti-thyroid peroxidase antibody (anti-TPO, see Thyroid Antibodies) – this test detects the presence of autoantibodies against a protein found in thyroid cells. A high value usually indicates autoimmune damage to the thyroid due to disorders such as Hashimoto thyroiditis and Graves disease.
Antithyroglobulin antibody (TgAb) – if positive, may indicate Hashimoto thyroiditis; while thyroglobulin antibodies are often positive, they are not as sensitive or specificas anti-TPO so they are not routinely ordered.
People with a very mild form of Hashimoto thyroiditis may not have thyroid antibodies present in their blood.
Treatment
There is no cure for Hashimoto thyroiditis, but the disorder is manageable. No treatment is required when thyroid hormone concentrations (T4 and T3) are normal and the affected person is not experiencing significant symptoms. Thyroid hormone replacement therapy is typically necessary, however, when thyroid hormone production becomes significantly decreased and symptoms begin to emerge or worsen. Those with Hashimoto thyroiditis are closely monitored, and thyroid hormone replacement therapy is initiated and/or adjusted as necessary.

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000371.htm

Understanding Auto Immune disorders

Who understands auto immune disorders and how they affects us and our loved ones?  Here is a brief overview of what it is and a link if you want to research correct information further.

When an intruder invades your body—like a cold virus or bacteria on a thorn that pricks your skin—your immune system protects you. It tries to identify, kill, and eliminate the invaders that might hurt you. But sometimes problems with your immune system cause it to mistake your body’s own healthy cells as invaders and then repeatedly attacks them. This is called an autoimmune disease. (“Autoimmune” means immunity against the self.)

Autoimmune diseases can affect almost any part of the body, including the heart, brain, nerves, muscles, skin, eyes, joints, lungs, kidneys, glands, the digestive tract, and blood vessels. The classic sign of an autoimmune disease is inflammation, which can cause redness, heat, pain, and swelling. How an autoimmune disease affects you depends on what part of the body is targeted. If the disease affects the joints, as in rheumatoid arthritis, you might have joint pain, stiffness, and loss of function. If it affects the thyroid, as in Graves’ disease and thyroiditis, it might cause tiredness, weight gain, and muscle aches. If it attacks the skin, as it does in scleroderma/systemic sclerosis, vitiligo, and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), it can cause rashes, blisters, and color changes.

Many autoimmune diseases don’t restrict themselves to one part of the body. For example, SLE can affect the skin, joints, kidneys, heart, nerves, blood vessels, and more. Type 1 diabetes can affect your glands, eyes, kidneys, muscles, and more.

KEY WORDS

Acquired immune system. The part of the immune system that develops as a person grows. It employs antibodies and immune cells to fight harmful substances.

Antibody. A special protein produced by the body’s immune system that recognizes and helps fight infectious agents and other foreign substances that invade the body.

Antigen. A foreign substance that triggers the production of antibodies when it is introduced into the body.

Autoimmune disease. A disease that results when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own tissues.

Corticosteroids. Potent anti-inflammatory hormones that are made naturally in the body or synthetically (man-made) for use as drugs. They are also called glucocorticoids. The most commonly prescribed drug of this type is prednisone.

Diabetes, type 1. A condition in which the immune system destroys insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, making it impossible for the body to use glucose (blood sugar) for energy. Type 1 diabetes usually occurs in children and young adults.

Graves’ disease. An autoimmune disease of the thyroid gland that results in the overproduction of thyroid hormone. This causes such symptoms as nervousness, heat intolerance, heart palpitations, and unexplained weight loss.

Immune system. A complex network of specialized cells and organs that work together to defend the body against attacks by foreign invaders, such as bacteria and viruses.

Thyroiditis. An inflammation of the thyroid gland that causes the gland to become underactive. This results in symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, weight gain, cold intolerance, and muscle aches.

Vitiligo. A disorder in which the immune system destroys pigment-making cells called melanocytes. This results in white patches of skin on different parts of the body.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH)—The Nation’s Medical Research Agency—includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH visit:

https://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/

Outside Allergies & cross reacting foods

Environmental allergens/Cross-Reacting Foods

I hear my clients or friends talk about the plants they are allergic to, what about the foods that we take in from those same plants and trees, do you consider those? It’s easy to feel the immediate effects of the blooming trees but not the delayed response of gluten or dairy allergy 2-5 days later.  

When your immune System is low, the outside allergies present themselves quickly.  A food panel is more valuable and  important to your health then knowing what tree you are allergic too.  Let’s take a look at the inside of our bodies first and build those systems up so the outside environment has less of an affect on us.  

Five categories of cross reaction and some of the key foods involved.
This is not intended to represent all possible environmental allergens, or all possible cross-reacting foods. Instead, it is meant to provide you with examples of common pollen allergens and commonly cross-reacting foods.

Environmental Allergen                  Cross-Reacting Foods
1. alder tree pollen                               1. almonds, apples, celery, cherries, peaches, pears, parsley, hazelnuts

2.grass pollen                                       2.melons, tomatoes, oranges

3.mugwort weed pollen                    3.carrots, celery, coriander, fennel, parsley, bell peppers, hot peppers, sunflower seeds

4.ragweed pollen                                 4.bananas, cantaloupe, cucumbers, zucchini, honeydew, watermelon, chamomile

5.birch tree pollen                             5. almonds, apples, apricots, carrots, celery, cherries, coriander/cilantro, fennel, hazelnuts, kiwifruit, lychee fruit, nectarines, oranges, parsley, parsnips, peaches, pears, bell peppers, hot peppers, persimmons, plums/prunes, potaotes, soybeans, wheat

Environment-food cross reactions can be as complicated or even more complicated to recognize as food allergies and food intolerances. On the environment side, they might be seasonal and only a problem during certain times of year. On the food side, they are likely to be year round, and may involve a half dozen or more foods. Blood work is strongly recommended to identify the cause of “allergy Symptoms”.

For more information I can order the correc labs for you to get the answers you are looking for, just email, call or text me and we can set up a consultation.  If you would like more information on this article:

http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=faq&dbid=51

Potassium Info & Top Ten Foods highest in this essential nutrient

Potassium Rich Foods-Top ten

Potassium is an essential nutrient used to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body.
Potassium is the third most abundant mineral in the body and is a required mineral for the function of several organs including the heart, kidneys, brain and muscular tissues.
Potassium also plays an important role in keeping the body hydrated and works with sodium to support cellular function with your bodies sodium-potassium pump.
Potassium deficiency symptoms can include severe headaches, dehydration, heart palpitations and swelling of glands and tissues.
Also, potassium deficiency can lead to:
* Fatigue
* Irritability
* Muscle cramps
* Weight gain
* Increased blood pressure
* Cellulite buildup

The main culprits that can cause low levels of potassium are endurance cardiovascular exercise without proper hydration, vomiting, diarrhea and a diet low in fruits and vegetables.
Unless you are on dialysis, or have a special condition, overdose of potassium from natural sources is very rare.
The RDA for potassium is 4700 mg/day.
Keeping in mind Sodium should be 2300mg.
Think Double potassium for your sodium intake!

Consuming these 3 servings of this high potassium foods list daily to ensure optimal levels of potassium.
Top 10 Potassium Rich Foods List
1) Avocado. 1 whole: 1068 mg (30% DV)
2) Spinach. 1 cup: 839mg (24% DV)
3) Sweet potato. 1 medium: 952 mg (27% DV)
4) Coconut Water. 1 cup 600 mg (17% DV)
5) Kefir or Yogurt 1 cup: 579 mg (15% DV)
6) White Beans ½ cup: 502 mg (15% DV)
7) Banana 1 large: 422 mg (12% DV)
8) Acorn squash 1 cup: 899 mg (26% DV)
9) Dried apricots ½ cup: 755 mg (22% DV)
10) Mushrooms 1 cup: 428 mg (27% DV)

Potassium Health Benefits
Cramps
: One of the main benefits of consuming high potassium foods is decreased muscle cramping and improved muscle strength.  Muscle cramps are a common side effects of low potassium levels.  This can happen if an athlete becomes dehydrated and isn’t consuming enough potassium rich foods before and after exercise.
Reduced Risk of Stroke
: Several observational studies have found that those with high potassium levels experience a lower risk of stroke. The health benefits of potassium are likely through reduction of blood pressure combined with a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
Alleviation of High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): 
Studies show that a diet high in potassium, especially potassium from fruits and vegetables, lowers blood pressure. This is especially true if the increase in potassium foods is not accompanied by an increase in high sodium foods.
Reduced Cellulite Appearance
: One of the main causative factors of cellulite buildup is fluid retention.  Most people consume far too much sodium and not near enough potassium.  Sodium brings nutrients into your cells where potassium helps flush excess waste out of your cells.  For this reason, if you reduce sodium intake and start consuming potassium rich foods you can reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Osteoporosis Protection
: Several studies have found a relation between increased bone density and increased intake of dietary potassium. These studies were true even for post- menopausal women and older men.

https://draxe.com/top-10-potassium-rich-foods/

Anxiety Types, Signs and Symptoms

Anxiety Types, Signs, and Symptoms

Do you know anyone with any of these symptoms?  They are real, please do not dismiss them.  Just listening without offering a solution may be the best thing you can do for your loved one today.  You never know someone else’s battles so judgements are harsh and unnecessary. Spread love and light and educate yourself.  They obviously trusted you enough to confide in you, don’t waste that moment you have to just love them.  It may save a life…

Generalized Anxiety Disorder
People with generalized anxiety disorder display excessive anxiety or worry for months and face several anxiety-related symptoms.
Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms include:
Restlessness or feeling wound-up or on edge
Being easily fatigued
Difficulty concentrating or having their minds go blank
Irritability
Muscle tension
Difficulty controlling the worry
Sleep problems (difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless, unsatisfying sleep)

Panic Disorder
People with panic disorder have recurrent unexpected panic attacks, which are sudden periods of intense fear that may include palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate; sweating; trembling or shaking; sensations of shortness of breath, smothering, or choking; and feeling of impending doom.
Panic disorder symptoms include:
Sudden and repeated attacks of intense fear
Feelings of being out of control during a panic attack
Intense worries about when the next attack will happen
Fear or avoidance of places where panic attacks have occurred in the past

Social Anxiety Disorder
People with social anxiety disorder (sometimes called “social phobia”) have a marked fear of social or performance situations in which they expect to feel embarrassed, judged, rejected, or fearful of offending others.
Social anxiety disorder symptoms include:
Feeling highly anxious about being with other people and having a hard time talking to them
Feeling very self-conscious in front of other people and worried about feeling humiliated, embarrassed, or rejected, or fearful of offending others
Being very afraid that other people will judge them
Worrying for days or weeks before an event where other people will be
Staying away from places where there are other people
Having a hard time making friends and keeping friends
Blushing, sweating, or trembling around other people
Feeling nauseous or sick to your stomach when other people are around.
Evaluation for an anxiety disorder often begins with a visit to a primary care provider. Some physical health conditions, such as an overactive thyroid or low blood sugar, as well as taking certain medications, can imitate or worsen an anxiety disorder. A thorough mental health evaluation is also helpful, because anxiety disorders often co-exist with other related conditions, such as depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml

Allergy Testing Explained

Allergy testing At a Glance

I’m all about questions and explaining why. When we understand “Why” we do things, programs or guidelines become easier to follow and results tend to be easier to maintain when education is behind our actions.  Let me help you stop the guess work and customize your eating and supplement plan so you can be the best version of yourself you can be!!!

Formal name:
Allergen-specific IgE Antibody Test
Why Get Tested?
To help diagnose allergies; sometimes to monitor the effectiveness of immunotherapy (desensitization) treatment
When to Get Tested?
When you have symptoms such as hives, dermatitis, nasal congestion, red itchy eyes, asthma, or abdominal pain that your health care provider suspects may be caused by an allergy
A Sample is Required
A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm or finger prick at home test.

No Test Preparation Needed

What is being tested?
Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is a class of antibody (immune protein) associated with allergic reactions. It is normally found in very small amounts in the blood. This test measures the amount of allergen-specific IgE in the blood in order to detect an allergy to a particular substance.
IgE is an antibody that functions as part of the body’s immune system, its defense against “intruders.” When someone with a predisposition to allergies is exposed to a potential allergen such as food, grass, or animal dander for the first time, that person becomes sensitized. The person’s body perceives the potential allergen as a foreign substance and produces a specific IgE antibody that binds to specialized mast cells in the skin, respiratory system, and gastrointestinal tract, and to basophils (a type of white blood cell) in the bloodstream. With the next exposure, these attached IgE antibodies recognize the allergen and cause the mast and basophil cells to release histamine and other chemicals, resulting in an allergic reaction that begins at the exposure site.
Each allergen-specific IgE antibody test performed is separate and very specific: honeybee versus bumblebee, egg white versus egg yolk, giant ragweed versus western ragweed. Groupings of these tests, such as food panels or regional weed, grass, and mold panels, can be done. Alternatively, the health practitioner may pick and choose selectively from a long list of individual allergens suspected of causing a person’s allergies.

When is it ordered?
One or more allergen-specific IgE antibody tests are usually ordered when a person has signs or symptoms that suggest an allergy to one or more substances. Signs and symptoms MAY include:

**Fatigue is number one symptom!**
* Hives
* Dermatitis
* Eczema
* Red itchy eyes
* Coughing, nasal congestion, sneezing
* Itching and tingling in the mouth
* Asthma
* Abdominal pain or vomiting and diarrhea
* Bloating, excessive gas
* Skin breakouts
* Sluggish
* Stomachache, discomfort within 30 mins of eating
* Trouble concentrating, brain fog

A test may also be ordered occasionally to help evaluate the effectiveness of immunotherapy or to determine whether a child has outgrown an allergy.

Sources:
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: What are allergies?
American College of Allergy, Asthma,
American Academy of Family Physicians: Food Allergies
Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN)
Nemours Foundation: All About Allergies
American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology: What is Allergy Testing
American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology: Tips to Remember: Allergy Testing
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Struggling with Depression??

Do you struggle with Depression or know someone who does? Tired of being pushed the drug route? Want to heal your body naturally?  Try a few of these herbs.  You  can take them in combinations in tea form or supplement form.  If you need help deciphering what you think you need first, let me help you sort it out before you spend extra money trying to experiement on your own.

Herbs for depression
Rhodiola rosea
Rhodiola rosea (Crassulaceae) is a perennial plant that grows in cold, alpine regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Its roots contain a sap that has long been used to improve physical and mental endurance, relieve symptoms of anxiety and stress, and even lift mood and alleviate depression symptoms. This is why it is considered to be an adaptogen, a natural substance that helps normalize the body’s response to stress, and maintain optimal homeostasis by balancing the immune system and endocrine hormones (http://cms.herbalgram.org/herbclip/342/review45139.html).

Numerous scientific studies, including research conducted and compiled by Dr. Zakir Ramazanov, a former Soviet soldier-turned-doctor, has revealed that rhodiola rosea can be safely used to reduce recovery time after workouts, improve attention span and memory, improve physical fitness and performance, enhance psychomotor function, and alleviate depression and anxiety (http://rhodiolarosea.org/rhodiola-benefits/).
100mg of Rhodila a day (Dr.Weil.com)

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035463_depression_herbs_remedies.html#ixzz3zjQgnxzR

St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum), a plant native to temperate and subtropical regions of the world, has long been used in many cultures to treat depression. Numerous research studies, including a 2008 study published as part of the Cochrane Systematic Review, have found that St. John’s Wort is at least as effective as standard antidepressant drugs at treating mild to moderate depressive disorders, but with few potentially harmful side effects (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081007192435.htm).

When taken as a whole extract, St. John’s Wort has also been shown to help naturally alleviate sleep disorders, promote relaxation, and boost energy levels in such a way that avoids the “spikes” and “plunges” typically associated with consumption of caffeine and other stimulants. St. John’s Wort is considered to be a safe, inexpensive herbal remedy that can help promote improved overall mental health.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035463_depression_herbs_remedies.html#ixzz3zjSFGRPF

Camu Camu
Camu Camu (Myrciaria dubia) is a tropical rainforest plant whose berries have the highest known levels of natural vitamin C in the world. The plant’s fruit, which is naturally tangy and sweet, contains a host of nutrients, including vitamin C, that fight the negative effects of the herpes virus, promote immune health, alleviate inflammation, and fight bacteria and viruses. Camu Camu also has adaptogenic properties that normalize bodily processes during stress, and help relieve symptoms of depression.

In his Clinician’s Handbook of Natural Healing, Dr. Gary Null, Ph.D., critically-acclaimed nutritionist and researcher, lists Camu Camu as the second most potent known plant for containing natural antidepressant compounds — and best of all, eating camu camu has absolutely no know negative side effects
Therapeutic Ranges for Vit C falls between 3000-5000mg day

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035463_depression_herbs_remedies.html#ixzz3zjSTNQ4d

Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), an Indian plant that has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine, contains powerful adaptogenic compounds that are known to relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. The plant is also known to help fight degenerative brain conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells.

Several studies, including one published in the journal Phytomedicine back in 2000, have found that ashwagandha works as well as, or better than, antidepressant drugs at relieving anxiety and treating depression symptoms. And ashwagandha naturally prevents stress-induced free radical damage without causing harmful side effects (http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2006/jun2006_report_ashwa_01.htm).
Ashwaganda can be up to 6000mg a day, suggesting to be taken in 3 doses divided.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035463_depression_herbs_remedies.html#ixzz3zjSWnAz2

Maca
Maca (Lepidium meyenii), also known as “Peruvian ginseng,” is a root vegetable that is packed with amino acids, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Like the other herbs mentioned, it has long been used in traditional medicine to increase energy and stamina, enhance libido, and boost the immune, adrenal, and endocrine systems.

In a 2008 study published in the journal Menopause, researchers found that maca helps reduce anxiety and depression symptoms in women with menopause (http://drtorihudson.com). And in a 2006 study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers found that maca clearly exhibits general antidepressant activity in all people when consumed.
Maca can be 500-2000mg a day. (macaextract.net)
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035463_depression_herbs_remedies.html#ixzz3zjSfMG5m

10 Signs You Have Candida Overgrowth & What To Do About It

by Dr. Amy MyersApril 4, 2013
You might be wondering: What on earth is candida?

Candida is a fungus, which is a form of yeast, and a very small amount of it lives in your mouth and intestines. Its main job? Helping out with digestion and nutrient absorption.

But when overproduced, candida can break down the wall of the intestine and penetrate the bloodstream — releasing toxic by-products into your body and causing leaky gut. This can lead to many different health problems, from digestive issues to depression.

How do you get candida overgrowth?

The good news is that the healthy bacteria in your gut typically keep your candida levels in check. However, a few factors can cause the candida population to grow out of control:

Eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar
Consuming a lot of alcohol
Taking oral contraceptives
Eating a diet high in beneficial fermented foods (like Kombucha, sauerkraut, and pickles)
Living a high-stress lifestyle
Taking a round of antibiotics that killed too many of those friendly bacteria
What are common symptoms of candida?

Skin and nail fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus
Feeling tired and worn down, or suffering from chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
Autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma, or multiple sclerosis
Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, ADD, ADHD, and brain fog
Skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes
Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, or depression
Vaginal infections, urinary tract infections, rectal itching, or vaginal itching
Severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears
Strong sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings
How do you test for candida overgrowth?

Blood test

You’ll want to start by checking your levels for candida antibodies called IgG, IgA, and IgM. This can easily be done through most medical labs, and high levels can clue you in to an overgrowth of candida.

 

 

How do you treat candida overgrowth?

To successfully treat candida, you need to do three things: stop the yeast overgrowth, build up the friendly bacteria, and heal your gut so that candida can no longer enter your bloodstream.

First step: getting rid of the candida overgrowth, which mainly requires switching to a low-carbohydrate diet.

Sugar is what feeds yeast. So start by eliminating sugar in all of its simple forms — such as candy, desserts, alcohol, and flours. At the same time, cut back to just 1 cup a day of the more complex carbohydrates, like grains, beans, fruit, bread, pasta, and potatoes. This will help prevent the candida from growing and will eventually cause it to die.
I also recommend eliminating all fermented foods. That’s because, while it’s common knowledge that fermented foods help to feed the good bacteria, most people don’t realize that bad bacteria feed off of these foods as well.

Still, using diet alone could take three to six months before the candida is back under control. So, I often recommend that my patients use an anti-fungal medication, such as Diflucan or Nystatin, for at least a month.

If you are self-treating, you can also take a supplement of caprylic acid. Caprylic acid, which comes from coconut oil, basically “pokes holes” in the yeast cell wall, causing it to die.

And while some people recommend using herbs like oil of oregano, I don’t recommend it since it can also kill the good bacteria.

Next, you should rebuild the good bacteria that typically keep your candida population under control. Taking anywhere from 25 to 100 billion units of probiotics on a regular basis should help to reduce the candida levels and restore your levels of good bacteria.

Finally, heal your gut. Eliminating inflammatory foods that can harm your GI tract — and introducing foods that help — will prevent candida from working its way through your body, and dramatically improve your overall health.

Want to find out if you have candida overgrowth? Consider seeing a functional medicine doctor who is trained in detecting and treating candida.

More information below: This article has been updated as of November 1, 2016 by mbg editorial to include new studies, information, and data on candida.

Is candida a fungus?

Yes, yes it is. More specifically, candida is a yeast. There are many different forms of candida, but Candida albicans is the main species colonizing the human body.

Candida normally lives in the gastrointestinal tract and other areas of the body without causing problems, but imbalance in the microbiome can lead to candida overgrowth. When there is disruption of the delicate balance of the good and bad bacteria, Candida albicans will take over, leading to common conditions like oral thrush, vaginal yeast infections, and diaper rash. If you have ever taken antibiotics, you were probably warned by your doctor about the risk of developing a yeast overgrowth—this happens because the antibiotics can wipe out your gut bacteria, good and bad, creating an environment that is ripe for yeast and fungi to take over.

Is candida a yeast infection?

Technically yes, candida is a yeast infection but this warrants clarification. When most people say “yeast infection” they are referring to a vaginal yeast infection but the candida symptoms and causes we are discussing here pertain to the gut. Typically, yeast overgrowth is treated using antifungal medications, but these medications can have unpleasant side effects and it’s common for the yeast overgrowth to return as soon as you stop taking them. For example, many women suffer from chronic yeast infections because they medicate without completely understanding the connection between the microbiome and yeast balances in the body. Changing the yeast infection recurrence, like with candida, often requires a lifestyle or dietary change.

Not to mention, like antibiotic resistance, microbiological resistance to these conventional antifungal drugs is becoming problematic and it’s causing researchers to start looking for alternatives. Which is all the more reason to educate yourself and try to understand your yeast issues on a deeper level.

How candida affects your gut

I know, I know, you’ve heard this a million different times, but while yeast infections and diaper rash are well-known conditions and generally easy to spot, when overproduced in the gut, candida will break down the walls of our digestive tract and penetrate the bloodstream. When left untreated, it’s more dangerous than you think.

Candida can also be toxic to the system. Essentially, when candida breaches the intestinal barrier and enters the bloodstream it releases toxic byproducts—including acetaldehyde—into your body. Acetaldehyde is a well-known carcinogen and is responsible for “hangover” symptoms such as nausea, headache, fatigue, and liver damage—definitely not something you want floating around in your body in large quantities.

Candida and leaky gut

If you are thinking this sounds a lot like leaky gut, you are already ahead of the game. The connection between candida and leaky gut is intricate. A leaky gut creates the perfect environment for candida to multiply, pass through the intestinal lining, and enter the bloodstream along with the undigested food particles. This is characteristic of leaky gut syndrome. Meanwhile, candida itself can colonize the gut and damage the intestinal lining. If you have one, you’re probably more likely to have the other. They can also exacerbate each other, creating a situation where your gut health quickly snowballs into dis-ease.

Candida, the liver, and detox

Similar to leaky gut syndrome, candida overgrowth releases toxins into the bloodstream that must be filtered by the liver. If there are too many toxins due to candida overgrowth, it can overload the liver and interfere with its ability to do its job. This means over toxicity and trouble maintaining blood sugar levels, storing vitamins and minerals, and regulating hormones.

The connection between candida and the liver explains why many of the symptoms of candida overgrowth—like irritability, fatigue, and brain fog—are similar to those of an overburdened liver. It also explains why many candida cleanse or diet programs include liver support supplements and detoxification support.

Candida and inflammation

Candida overgrowth, leaky gut, an overburdened liver, and the physical and mental symptoms they create can trigger the immune system to react, causing chronic inflammation. Inflammation can manifest itself in uncomfortable symptoms like weight gain, skin rashes, or brain fog and can eventually lead to autoimmune disease.

The relationship between candida, the liver, inflammation, and gut health is extremely complex, but it’s helpful to remember that everything in the body is connected. Different organs rely on and interact with each other. Adopting a holistic approach instead of treating each symptom individually will give you the best chance at achieving optimal health. This is a perspective that is often missing in the conventional medical approach, leaving many people bouncing from one specialist to another, with a bunch of symptoms they can’t quite connect.

Causes of candida

The good news is that the healthy bacteria in your gut typically keep your candida levels in check. The bad news is that many different factors can disrupt the delicate gut balance and can cause the candida population to grow out of control:

Eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar. Carbohydrates and sugar act like food for yeast and feed candida overgrowth in the gut.
Consuming a lot of alcohol. Most alcohol is fermented and contains sugars that will also feed the yeast.
Taking oral contraceptives. The birth control pill can disrupt the bacterial balance in the microbiome.
Eating a diet high in beneficial fermented foods (like kombucha, sauerkraut, vinegar, and pickles). These foods often contain yeast or have small amounts of alcohol that is produced during the fermentation process.
Living a high-stress lifestyle. Stress can slow down digestion and trigger inflammation.
Taking a round of antibiotics. Antibiotics kill good bacteria along with harmful bacteria which sets the stage for Candida albicans to take over.
Taking corticosteroids. Drugs like Prednisone, commonly used to treat severe allergies, skin problems, asthma, or arthritis are known to cause yeast infections in humans.
A weakened immune system. As you may know, a good portion of the body’s immune system resides in your gut. A compromised immune system puts you at a higher risk for gut imbalances and candida overgrowth.
Candida overgrowth and asthma

Essentially any medication, food, or lifestyle factor that disrupts the body’s natural environment can change the balance of the gut and set the stage for candida. Certain chronic diseases, like asthma, may require frequent antibiotic use and daily inhaled steroids, creating a perfect storm of factors that can lead to yeast overgrowth. If you have a chronic inflammatory condition that requires medication, it might be wise to see a functional medicine practitioner to see what you can do to counteract the effects of these drugs.

If you are someone who suffers from frequent colds, sore throats, or sinus issues, it’s important to note that antibiotics are one of the most prevalent causes of candida overgrowth, and also one of the most unknown. Remember that antibiotics only treat bacterial infections and should only be taken when necessary. Overprescribing antibiotics is a big problem in Western healthcare system and they can have negative effects on the microbiome, which dampens your immune system, leading to a greater susceptibility to the same conditions they are meant to treat.

At home candida test: the simple spit test

There are a few different tests for candida and none of them are error-proof, so it’s important to consider your symptoms when trying to determine if candida might be a problem for you. If all of your tests come back negative but you suffer from many of the symptoms of candida, you can always try making the recommended diet and lifestyle changes and see how you feel.

This do-it-yourself candida spit test lacks scientific backing, but many candida experts suggest it as simple, free, no-risk starting point. It works like this: when you wake up in the morning get a clear glass of water, before you brush your teeth or drink anything gather some saliva in your mouth and spit into the cup. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then observe what you see. If your spit looks particularly cloudy, or you see small white projections coming out of the saliva, it could be a sign that you have candida and you might want to try one of the more established tests mentioned above.

Candida cleanse: foods to avoid when you have candida

Sugar

Cut down on sugar. It’s important to note that this includes many salad dressings and condiments and even natural sweeteners like honey, coconut sugar, and agave. This can be a difficult adjustment, even if you are mindful of your sugar intake, completely eliminating sugar can leave you with strong cravings and feeling irritable.

Sugar has a strong effect on your body and brain and cutting it out can be difficult. Scientific research has shown that high glycemic index foods are linked to strong hunger and food cravings.

Carbohydrates

Many foods containing carbohydrates, especially complex ones, are not inherently bad for you. But when you are fighting yeast its very important to cut off its food supply completely, or it could take longer to get your symptoms under control. It’s a challenging lifestyle change, expect some slip ups and don’t beat yourself up.

Candida-friendly foods

At this point you might be wondering what you are able to eat. Nuts and seeds, avocado, vegetables, lean protein, and stevia for sweetener will be your allies on this candida diet. To help you get an idea of the daily routine of the candida diet we have provided a day’s worth of meal examples.

Candida diet: best foods for candida

Breakfast: for breakfast try unsweetened coconut yogurt with strawberries, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and almonds. This will include lots of healthy fats and keep you feeling full until lunch.

Lunch: try a big leafy green salad and make a dressing using olive oil, garlic, and lemon. Top it with quinoa for some protein.

Dinner: grilled chicken or fish with steamed vegetables are all candida friendly.

Snacks: try making homemade guacamole and eat it with raw veggies or flaxseed crackers. Hardboiled eggs or mixed nuts are also great snacks on the candida diet.

Still not sure where to begin? Check out these 8 Recipes For The Candida Diet where we give you some great recipes that will leave you feeling full and satisfied.

Candida diet: foods to eat when you have candida

While it is important to eliminate certain foods, it can also be beneficial to incorporate candida-fighting foods into your daily routine. Thankfully, there’s a long list of delicious foods that have strong antifungal properties.

Raw Garlic

Garlic is one of the best options for fighting yeast, one study showed that garlic oil was able to penetrate the cellular membranes of Candida albicans and very successfully disrupt the normal activity and functioning of the yeast.

Coconut oil

In a study conducted at Tufts University, coconut oil was suggested as the first effective dietary approach to fighting candida.

Olive oil and cinnamon oil

A recent study exploring alternatives to conventional antifungal medications demonstrated that olive oil and cinnamon oil both successfully combatted candida isolated from bloodstream infections.

Lemon

Citrus fruits have long been known for their antiseptic qualities and can help prevent the formation of biofilms (a film of bacteria that adheres to a surface).

Wild salmon

This excellent source of omega-3s can help fight fungal infections.

Ginger

Ginger was recently suggested as a natural antifungal option to during a time when many fungi are becoming resistant to conventional antifungal medications

Apple cider vinegar

It’s the only vinegar allowed on the candida diet, as it contains minerals that will help fight against yeast.

Cloves

Cloves have long been used in traditional medicine systems to fight a wide variety of ailments, including fungal infections.

Probiotics, prebiotics and supplements for Candida

Adopting the right diet is arguably your most important tool when fighting candida.

Diflucan and Nystatin are only available through your doctor, so if you are self-treating, another great supplement to fight candida is undecylenic acid. This is a naturally occurring fatty acid that is thought to be even more effective than caprylic acid in fighting yeast and helping to maintain a healthy microbiome.

When choosing a probiotic, here’s a tip: pick a good quality probiotic that includes the lactobacillus strain, as some studies have shown it to be particularly effective at fighting yeast.

If you are suffering from any of the GI conditions listed above, probiotics can even more important to maintaining your good health. Some studies suggest that prebiotics and probiotics will start to be included in the standard treatment protocols for inflammatory bowel conditions like ulcerative colitis because of their ability to help control symptoms and exacerbations.

Fiber supplementation is also frequently suggested in candida treatment plans. Yeast overgrowth occurs in the digestive tract and its important to flush out those areas and keep things moving. This limits the amount of time the candida has to colonize and cause damage. Some good fiber supplements include acacia fiber or even raw chia seeds taken regularly. Fiber is also prebiotic, helping probiotics do their jobs better.

You can also consider herbal remedies with antifungal properties. Ayurvedic experts recommend valerian, wormwood, and mugwort. There are also plenty of probiotic foods and fun teas that can be easy to add to your daily routine.

What is candida die off?

It’s possible that in the beginning of your candida-fighting mission, you will experience something called candida die-off. This is similar to the flu-like symptoms you can experience when you start a detox program. While this is largely unstudied and unquantified from a yeast standpoint, the Herxheimer reaction is a byproduct of metabolic processing. (Most research here has been done on patients with syphillis. As your body gets rid of toxins and the yeast dies, your symptoms may get worse before they get better. Like any detox, start out slowly, drink a lot of water, rest, and if symptoms are too uncomfortable, ease up on your anti-candida regime or adopt a gentler approach. Keep the faith that you will start to feel better, look for signs like more restful sleep, well balanced blood sugar levels, and more mental clarity.

How to heal your gut after having candida

Once you have the yeast under control—which can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months—you can start slowly adding different food groups back into your diet.

However, it is important to continue to avoid inflammatory foods that can harm your GI tract. Remember, the strong relationship between candida and leaky gut? Many people with candida overgrowth also have a leaky gut and that can put them at increased risk of food sensitivities. You want to make sure you are not continually disturbing the intestinal lining as it tries to heal.

Foods like sugar, coffee, grains, alcohol, dairy, and starchy plant foods can all be very irritating to the intestinal lining and increase the risk of candida getting out of control again. Limiting or avoiding them might be wise, and make sure that if you do consume them, you pay attention to how you feel afterwards.

If you are thinking that this guide was helpful, but it is just too complicated an endeavor to take on by yourself, consider seeing a functional/integrative medicine doctor, or holistic Nutritionist.

Most integrative/functional medicine providers are trained in detecting and treating candida and many will even advertise candida as one of the conditions they are able to treat. Some facilities and providers even have specific candida treatment and prevention programs in place.

Can candida overgrowth cause adrenal fatigue?

In case you needed another reason to adopt a self-care routine, stress management can be one of the most important tools in fighting candida. Stress releases cortisol, a hormone that causes inflammation, which slows your ability to digest and inhibits your immune system. This is a problem because along with your good gut bacteria, your immune system works to keep candida in check. When your stress response interferes with your digestion it can pave the way for candida to overproduce. Adopting healthy coping mechanisms to deal with daily stress can be a very important tool in the prevention and treatment of candida overgrowth.

A word on exercise: although exercise can be a great stress-reliever it can also initiate the body’s stress response and lead to the release cortisol. Mild exercise like walking or gentle yoga, at least for the initial stages of the diet as they can lower cortisol levels. Yoga and meditation can be helpful tools for fighting candida. They will decrease stress and activate relaxation pathways in the brain and body. If you are worried about sticking to the diet, meditation and yoga can help you detach from the challenges and refocus your energies on healing from candida.

Yoga poses to help with detoxification

Yoga can help heal candida overgrowth Here are a few different types of poses to try if you’re battling candida.

Twisting poses are known to help with digestion and detoxification, as they massage the abdominal organs. Here are a few twisting yoga poses to try while you’re fighting candida:

Seated spinal twist
Supine spinal twist
Standing twists
Inversions revive our energy and help with blood circulation and lymphatic detoxification, among other things.

Simple variations to prep for handstand or headstand
Restorative poses (first pose in this sequence)
Headstand
Breathwork activates our parasympathetic nervous system, reducing blood pressure, helping with respiratory conditions, and also re-energizes us.

Hot mess: The grossest health concerns of summer

 

(CNN)You are not the only one who thrives in the summer and loves its warm, long days. Bacteria and other microbes that cause food poisoning, diarrhea and just general grossness also flourish, threatening to make it a season to be sick.

“Foodborne pathogens follow an annual cycle, and we tend to see peaks of them, especially bacteria, in the summer, at picnics, potlucks and all the outdoor events,” said Melinda Wilkins, director of the online science master’s program in food safety at Michigan State University.
Your gut is not the only part of your body at risk of assault by bacteria such as E. coli in summer months. Bugs lurk in air conditioning filters, especially when it is hot and humid, ready to cause trouble for those with breathing problems. And the skin that protects you from infections can become a portal for them after a bad, blistering sunburn.
Of course, even if some dangers await you at the picnic, pool or beach, it is worth it to get out and enjoy yourself. You can most likely handle what comes your way.

Don’t pee (or poop) in the pool

The burn you feel in your eyes after a dip in the swimming pool is not because of chlorine. It is because pee, poop and sweat from fellow swimmers (and maybe you) react with chlorine and form chloramine compounds,and this combination is what really stings your peepers. Aside from the gross factor, the formation of these compounds means there is less chlorine left in the water to kill bacteria, such as E. coli. Chloramines can also irritate the airways, and when they build up in the air, such as at indoor pools, they can trigger asthma attacks.
“We recommend that you not pee or poop in the water, and shower before you go in,” said Michele Hlavsa, chief of the Health Swimming Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A 2010 CDC report found that one out of 10 public pools don’t have proper chlorine levels. To make sure you’re not about to take a dip in a bacteria-laden pool, “you can use pool test strips at a pool supply or big box store” to check the chlorine level, Hlavsa said. (The CDC recommends chlorine levels in pools between 1 and 3 parts per million and pH of 7.2 to 7.8.)
Even at the right levels, chlorine does not wipe out everything. A new CDC report found that a parasite called cryptosporidium, which can cause diarrhea and lives up to 10 days in a chlorinated pool, was associated with 37 (54%) of the 69 outbreaks of illness at pools and water parks. “To protect yourself, it’s about not swallowing the water you swim in, and to protect others don’t swim if you have diarrhea,” Hlavsa said.

Lurking in seawater

A day at the beach may leave you with more memories than you imagined if you go home with vibriosis. The infection is caused by vibrio bacteria, which live in some coastal waters and flourish in the warm months between May and October, when the majority of cases occur.
According to the CDC, there are about 80,000 cases each year, and about 100 of them are fatal.
An estimated 52,000 of those cases result from eating contaminated food, such as raw oysters, that have been infected in the water they once lived in. Symptoms usually begin within 24 hours of consumption. They include abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever and chills. The illness lasts about three days.
The bacteria can also cause skin rashes that lead to infection when contaminated water gets into an open wound or even a scratch.
The best way to prevent this infection is to thoroughly cook shellfish and clean hands well after touching raw or undercooked shellfish. Cuts or scrapes should be cleaned well with soap after contact with infected water. When possible, cover the wound with a waterproof bandage before getting it wet.

Beware the picnic burgers

The thought of potato salad sweltering in the heat at the summer picnic may make the burgers on the grill sound pretty appetizing, but think again. “Actually, potato salad has kind of a bad rap, but it is not really a particularly high-risk food,” said Wilkins, of Michigan State University. “But people tend to bring frozen (burger) patties and throw them on the grill before they are fully thawed, (and) ground meat that is not thoroughly cooked is one of the riskiest items” because it can have E. coli, she said.
Ground beef and pork should be cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, ground chicken and turkey to 165 degrees. And yes, that means using a meat thermometer to test the temperature in the middle of the burger, Wilkins said.
Of course, bacteria can still lurk in a big bowl of gooey potato or pasta salad, but not for the reasons you may think. Ingredients such as potatoes, pasta and eggs, not the mayonnaise, are prone to contamination. To play it safe, keep containers of anything you’re supposed to eat cold, such as potato salad, in big bowls or coolers full of ice, Wilkins said.

Bacteria scream for ice cream (machines)

An issue that can plague many an inadequately cleaned soft-serve ice cream dispenser is bacteria. “Listeria (bacteria) is a really sneaky pathogen in that it likes to live in cooler temperatures and populate machinery,” Wilkins said. Listeria infections can cause fever and muscle aches, and they are especially dangerous for pregnant women, who may miscarry as a result.
On the bright side, the Blue Bell ice cream scare has made people more aware of listeria’s potential to lurk in frozen desserts, Wilkins said. It is a good idea to ask the person working at the yogurt shop or ice cream truck when the machines were last cleaned. “It brings the issue to the awareness of the workers and management to double check their procedures,” Wilkins said.

Burn, baby, burn

Sunburns may seem like a sweet souvenir from a day at the beach, but they should really be thought of as potentially harmful wounds. In the most severe cases, people can develop blisters and need to be treated like burn victims, said Dr. Cameron K. Rokhsar, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “The skin sloughs off, (and) if there’s any kind of raw wound, it can predispose you to an infection” and should be treated with a prescription antibiotic ointment, he said.
Worse yet, even just a few serious sunburns may greatly increase your risk of developing skin cancer. A 2014 study found that white women who had five or more blistering sunburns when they were teens were 68% more likely to develop melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Brush with jellyfish

Despite that old episode of “Friends” where Joey peed on Monica’s jellyfish sting, urine is not the antidote to the venom of this goopy animal, which is common off beaches across the United States and thrives in warm water. Rinsing the wound with saltwater is one of the most recommended ways to relieve the stinging, redness and swelling that follow a brush with a jellyfish tentacle.
A more surprising but also effective treatment is vinegar, said Rokhsar, who knows firsthand that it can make the pain go away almost instantaneously. “It happened to me. It hurts a lot, and I actually went to the lifeguard station, and they had vinegar spray,” he said.
Also beware of the not-so-cute baby jellyfish called sea lice. Unlike the adults’ sting, theirs doesn’t hurt, so you don’t have to worry about rinsing the wound with saltwater or vinegar. Save the vinegar for rinsing your swimsuit before you wash it. Some believe the larvae can become trapped in the fabric.
You will usually experience an itchy, red rash and small blisters within 24 hours. The rash is sometimes accompanied with fever, chills, headaches and nausea. The symptoms can last as long as two weeks and are not contagious.
The sea lice, which are actually microscopic larvae of marine life such as jellyfish or sea anemones, are most often found in summer waters in Florida and the Caribbean.

Grossness flourishes in air conditioning filters

When air conditioners are working around the clock in hot summer months, dust, mold and pollution from outdoor air (in the case of central AC) or indoor air (in the case of a window unit) tend to build up on the filter of AC units. Not only does this slash the air conditioner’s efficiency, it can also carry health risks, said Abby Brokaw, director of the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest Health House program.
“People who are already having problems with breathing or lung health — so people with allergies or respiratory disease — are going to be affected” if the filter is not properly cleaned, removing dust, mold, dander and other detritus, Brokaw said.
To keep your filter in tiptop shape, clean or replace it every three months, Brokaw advised. But take precaution when you do. Mold and bacteria love to grow on filters, especially in the summer humidity.
“You don’t want to breathe in mold spores and bacteria. We would recommend that you wear gloves and a mask,” Brokaw said, referring to surgical masks sold in drugstores.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/26/health/gross-summer-health/index.html

How to Cure Stomach Ulcers

At Least 5 Ways to Cure Stomach Ulcers

Tummy ulcers, likewise called peptic or stomach ulcers, are open sores in the cellular lining of the tummy. As a result of the amount of acid existing in the stomach, when abscess happen, they are usually very uncomfortable. One of the most usual root cause of tummy ulcers is the germs Helicobacter pylori, or H. pylori. Abscess could additionally be triggered by overuse of painkillers, such as aspirin, as well as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, such as advil or naproxen.

Belly ulcers are frequently alleviated with prescription antibiotics or medicines to decrease, block, or neutralize belly acid. There are additionally all-natural natural home remedy you could utilize to assist ease the signs of a stomach abscess and also assist it heal.

Here are some great resources that I found for ways to cure stomach ulcers

The Best Natural and Home Remedies for Stomach Ulcers

Stomach Ulcers, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Natural Treatments and Remedies for Stomach Ulcers

Stomach Ulcer Treatments and Drugs

These are just a few places that I have used to get more information on stomach ulcers.

 

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