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

Is Chewing Gum Bad for You? (One Ingredient Is Linked to Gut Destruction)

Disturbing side effects of chewing gum.  Alternative bad breathe ideas and reasons why you should rethink putting gum in your mouth.
Gut Destruction

Chewing gum manufacturers have been turning to an ingredient called titanium dioxide for years. Now used in nanoparticle form, this extremely tiny metal compound is posing some serious emerging health threats. This is probably the scariest reason to avoid gum.

Generally recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration, this compound is often used in nanoparticle form to create a bright white pigmentation in paints, plastics … and chewing gum. (2) It’s also found in tons of other foods, like candies and powdered white sugar (donuts!) and even bread. Although it’s allowed on store shelves and considered safe, scientists are starting to paint a different picture.

In fact, a 2017 study published in the journal NanoImpact shows that nano-titanium oxide ingredients like titanium dioxide can severely impact gut health. Researchers exposed small intestinal cells to a meal’s worth of nanoparticles over four hours (acute exposure) or three meal’s worth over five days (chronic exposure). What they found is a bit shocking.

Chronic exposure to titanium dioxide nanoparticles in the diet:

Weakened the intestinal barrier
Slowed down metabolism
Triggered inflammation
Weakened the gut’s defense against pathogens

Blocked nutrient absorption of key nutrients like iron, zinc and fatty acids
The nanoparticles actually blunted the effectiveness of the small intestines’ microvilli. Microvilli are tiny projections that jut off of small intestinal cells and work to absorb nutrients our bodies need to survive. (3)

People also face this type of titanium dioxide exposure through toothpaste, and it’s even sometimes used to created a smoother texture in chocolates and to create a brighter appearance in skim milk.

In 2012, Arizona State University found that titanium dioxide nanoparticles turned up in five percent of products tested, including Twinkies and mayonnaise samples. Under public pressure, Dunkin Donuts stopped using nano-titanium dioxide in its donuts’ powdered sugar in 2015.

“To avoid foods rich in titanium oxide nanoparticles you should avoid processed foods, and especially candy. That is where you see a lot of nanoparticles,” — Gretchen Mahler, PhD, study co-author and assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Binghamton University, State University of New York. (4)

Beyond that, many chewing gum products contain emulsifiers to retain flavor and keep gum from sticking to your teeth. (5) The trouble is, many emulsifiers act almost like detergent in your digestive tract, throwing off the natural balance of your gut flora. In fact, research in lab animals suggests certain emulsifiers used as food additives could contribute to colon cancer development.

Is Chewing Gum Bad? More Reasons to Stop

Migraines

For children and adolescents dealing with vicious migraines and tension headaches, the natural solution could be right under their noses: Stop chewing gum. A small study published in Pediatric Neurology discovered that nixing gum led to significant improvements in 26 out of 30 adolescents in the study. Amazingly, 19 of them experienced complete headache resolution. No pills, no treatments — they just stopped chewing gum. (6)

If you’re trying to figure out how to get rid of a migraine naturally, your gum habit is a great place to start. In tweens and teens, common proven headache triggers include stress, lack of sleep, hot weather, video games, noise, sunlight, smoking, skipping meals and menstruation. Now we can add gum to the list. Researchers aren’t sure if it’s the artificial sweeteners or a TMJ issue related to gum and headaches, but the good news is we can stop many headaches with this simple step. (7)

Sinister Sweeteners

You’d expect fake sweeteners like aspartame in diet soda, but chewing gum? Come on! Different chewing gum companies turn to ingredients like aspartame, sorbitol, high-fructose corn syrup, acesulfame K, sucrolose and xylitol. Some actually use multiple fake sweeteners in a single gum product.

These ingredients are linked to serious health issues like tooth decay, liver fat buildup, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, leukemia, lymphoma, kidney tumors and more. Acesulfame potassium, also known as acesulfame K, is among the most common artificial sweeteners detected in breast milk. That’s troubling, since the ingredient is also linked to thyroid dysfunction. Sucralose harms the gut, throwing off healthy levels of enzymes and disrupting the microbiome. (8)

While xylitol and sorbitol may seem more natural, these processed sugar alcohols aren’t absorbed well by the body and cause an allergic reaction for those who have a sensitivity to it. And then there are the digestive sugar alcohol and xylitol side effects, including bloating, gas, cramping and diarrhea. And get this: Its laxative effect is so pronounced that it’s actually part of the chemical makeup for many over-the-counter laxatives.

Special note to dog owners: Xylitol and other sugar alcohol-based sweeteners are life-threatening toxins to dogs. Be mindful of breath mints, candies, sugar-free gum, frozen desserts and other foods when your pets are around. (9)

Better Bad-Breath Fighters & Gum Alternatives

Bad breath is a good excuse to reach for gum, but as you can see, the side effects are bad news, especially for your gut. Luckily, there are better ways to cope. After ruling out potential underlying issues for bad breath, you can turn to these things to naturally improve your breath:

Eat parsley.
Drink enough water, especially tap into the benefits of lemon water.
Learn how to safely tap into peppermint oil benefits.(Not recommended for young children.)
Learn about oil pulling with coconut oil.
Avoid grains and added sugars.
Final Thoughts on ‘Is Chewing Gum Bad for You?’
American played a huge role in spreading the popularity of chewing gum all around the world.
However, today’s ingredients include fake dyes and flavors. But perhaps most concerning is nanoparticle-sized titanium dioxide, an ingredient used in everything from gum, candy and bread to paint and plastics.
Nano-titanium dioxide helps create a vibrant white color, but scientists now show that it can impact small intestinal cells in a way that blocks absorption of key nutrients, slows the metabolism, increases inflammation and weakens the gut’s ability to protect against dangerous pathogens.
Chewing gum is also linked to migraines and tension headaches in children and adolescents.
There are still some chewing gum companies that rely on old-fashioned, real-food ingredients, but they are sometimes harder to come by.

Source: www.draxe.com

Herb Vs. Spices

Herb Vs. Spices
The difference between the two is where they are obtained from a plant.

Herbs come from the leafy and green part of the plant.
Spices are parts of the plant other than the leafy bit such as the root, stem, bulb, bark or seeds.

We often hear the term “herbs and spices”. As any amateur chef knows, herbs and spices are vital ingredients in many dishes. They add flavor, aroma, color, texture and even nutrients.

Both spices and herbs are parts of plants (fresh or dried) that are used to enhance the flavor of foods. They’ve also been known to preserve foods, cure illness and enhance cosmetics.

Herbs are usually grown in more temperate areas than spices and have great medicinal value and are also used in the preparation of cosmetic products.

Spices are usually dried before being used to season foods. Unlike herbs, they are grown in more tropical countries. They’ve also been known to preserve foods and some have medicinal value, such as turmeric with its anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal properties.

Despite the above clarification, according to the American Spice Trade Association, spices are defined as “any dried plant product used primarily for seasoning purposes”. This really broadens the definition of spices, allowing it to include herbs, dehydrated veggies, spice blends and spice seeds.

Here are a few example of herbs and spices, along with their reported nutritional/health benefits.

Spice Nutrition
Cinnamon
Lowers blood sugar levels, LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides especially in people with type 2 diabetes

Ginger
Can stop nausea and may also relieve heartburn

Cloves
Have antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiseptic properties; they are known for relieving flatulence and can actually help promote good digestion as well as metabolism

Chili
Contains capsaicin which puts the heat in chilies, may lower the risk of skin and colon cancers, shown to suppress appetite and boost metabolism

Mustard seeds
Contain phytonutrient compounds that protect against cancers of the gastrointestinal tract; believed to reduce the severity of asthma

Herb Nutrition
Basil
Rich in Vitamin A and K. Assists with combatting bowel inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis

Oregano
Assists with inflammation

Mint
Helps with digestion and asthma

Parsley
Protects against rheumatoid arthritis, antioxidant-rich, fights cancer, high in vitamin C and iron.

Thyme
Contains the oil, thymol, especially helpful for chest and respiratory problems, also acts as an antiseptic and disinfectant.

Women’s Multi Vitamin 40+

Ortho Multi Women 40+
Protocol for life Balance
120 Capsules $30.00

-Iron-Free Formula for Post-Menopausal Women*
-With Cranberry and Superfruits – Acai, Mangosteen and Pomegranated
-A Dietary Supplement
-Vegetarian/Vegan
Iron-Free Ortho Multi™ Women’s 40+ provides balanced nutrition for the support of total body wellness for menopausal and post-menopausal women.* In addition to a full range of daily vitamins and minerals, Ortho Multi™ Women’s 40+ supplies free radical fighting ingredients such as CoQ10, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Lutein and Lycopene to help fight the ravages of aging.* Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Boron, Vitamins D and K have also been included as key bone building nutrients. This comprehensive and completely vegetarian formula features chelated minerals, as well as coenzyme forms of B6 and B12 for enhanced bioavailability.

Servings Per Container: 30
As a dietary supplement, take 4 capsules daily in divided doses with meals or as directed by your healthcare practitioner.

Serving Size: 4 Veg Caps
Amount Per Serving
Vitamin A … 10, 000IU 
(100% as Beta-Carotene)
Vitamin C … 300mg
(from Calcium Ascorbate and Ascorbyl Palmitate)
Vitamin D … 1, 000IU 
(as Ergocalciferol)
Vitamin E … 200IU 
(as d-alpha Tocopheryl Succinate)
Vitamin K … 80mcg 
(as Menaquinone K2 and Phytonadione K1)
Thiamine … 25mg 
(from Thiamine HCI)(Vit. B-1)
Riboflavin … 25mg 
(Vitamin B-2)
Niacin … 30mg 
(Vitamin B-3)(as Niacinamide and from Inositol Hexanicotinate)
Vitamin B-6 … 25mg 
(from Pyridoxine HCI and Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate (P-5-P))
Folate … 800mcg 
(as Folic Acid)
Vitamin B-12 … 200mcg 
(as Methylcobalamin)
Biotin … 300mcg
Pantothenic Acid … 50mg 
(from D-Calcium Pantothenate)
Calcium … 250mg 
(from Calcium Carbonate (Aquamin® TG Red Algae Sea Minerals) and Calcium Ascorbate)
Iodine … 150mcg 
(from Potassium Iodide)
Magnesium … 100mg 
(from Magnesium Citrate and Aquamin® TG Red Algae Sea Minerals)
Zinc … 15mg
(from from Zinc Bisglycinate)(TRAACS®)
Selenium … 200mcg
(from L-Selenomethionine)
Copper … 1mg
(from Copper Bisglycinate)(TRAACS®)
Manganese … 2mg 
(from Manganese Bisglycinate)(TRAACS®)
Chromium … 120mcg 
(from Chromium Picolinate)
Molybdenum … 75mcg 
(from Sodium Molybdate)
Potassium … 25mg 
(from Potassium Chloride)
Cranberry … 100mg
(Vaccinium macrocarpon)(Fruit)(Standardized to min. 6% Quinic Acid)
Pomegranate Extract … 50mg
(Fruit)[min. 40% Punicalagins (Punicosides A and B)]
Organic Acai … 50mg
(Euterpe oleracea)(Fruit Skin and Pulp)
Mangosteen Extract … 50mg
(Fruit Peel)(Garcinia mangostana)(min. 10% Mangostin)
CoQ10 … 30mg 
(Coenzyme Q10)
Alpha Lipoic Acid … 30mg
Choline … 25mg 
(from Choline Bitartrate)
Inositol … 25mg
Aloe Vera … 25mg 
(Leaf)(200:1 Concentrate)
Lycopene … 500mcg 
(from Natural Tomato Extract)
Lutein … 500mcg 
(from Marigold Flowers)
Other Ingredients: Cellulose (capsule), Cellulose Powder, Stearic Acid (vegetable source) and Silica.
CAUTIONS/INTERACTIONS: Iodine may occasionally cause an allergic reaction in some individuals. This product contains Vitamin K, which is contraindicated in individuals taking warfarin. Some ingredients in this formula may affect the absorption or metabolism of medications. If you are taking any pharmaceutical medications, consult your healthcare practitioner before taking this product. If you are pregnant or lactating, consult your healthcare practitioner before taking this product.

10 Reasons to Eat Clean

eat clean

1. You’ll become more mindful.
Which one takes longer and really makes you slow down? Eating clean also means eating with purpose and savoring food. That means a better relationship with everything from radishes and radicchio to red velvet cupcakes (which you’ll no longer crave).

2. You’ll save money.
Kiss sick days and medical bills goodbye when you get nutrients from eating clean, real food. Plus, shopping locally and in season makes sense– and cents. Planning clean meals for the week is cost-effective if you make a list and stick to it, as there’s no chance of overspending at the store.

3. You’ll live longer.
Study after study has shown that consuming these foods can lengthen your life-span. And in a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, European researchers have found that increasing your produce intake to more than 569 grams per day reduces your risk of mortality by 10 %.

4. You’ll have better relationships.
Preparing clean meals takes time, just the kind of time that allows for easy, relaxed conversations with your kids, spouse and other family members and friends. If they’re too busy with screen time to share stove-top time, point them to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 2014 study, published in Public Health Nutrition, showing good health comes from home cooking.

5. You’ll be smarter.
Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and nuts keep our minds sharper and our memories stronger by a whopping 24 %, proved a study published in spring 2015 in Neurology. Our brains also function better with nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, as shown in Nature Reviews Neuroscience, while they slow and sputter down when we fill them with sugar (including alcohol), fast food and the wrong kinds of fats. If that’s all too much too think about, remember one point from the Nature Reviews Neuroscience report: A balanced diet means better brain health.

See also 9 Amazing Brain Boosters to Add to Your Diet.

6. You’ll have more energy.
Adam and Eve were onto something when they bit into that apple: Fruit is just one of many clean foods that provide an instant dose of energy. High-fiber fruits like apples take longer to digest and can instantly stave off that afternoon slump while providing critical vitamins for the evening ahead. Other pick-me-ups include quinoa, almonds, eggs, kale, citrus fruit and a good-old-fashioned glass of water.

7. You’ll be better in bed.
Mamma mia! Women with metabolic function in Italy and other regions of the Mediterranean enjoy a healthier sex life than those in the US, thanks to the components of their diet– yep, vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains and olive oil. That’s what researchers found in a comprehensive study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research.

8. You’ll help the planet survive.
There’s an oft-quoted statistic that food travels approximately 1,500 miles from farmer to consumer in the United States. By eating seasonal and local foods, as recommended by Clean Eating, you can help reduce your carbon footprint. As the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported in 2003, “The major threat to future survival and to US natural resources is rapid population growth”and “the lacto-ovo vegetarian diet is more sustainable than the average American meat-based diet.

9. You’ll be stronger.
The lean protein that comprises part of the clean-eating philosophy builds lean muscle mass and boosts metabolism, found a study presented at The Obesity Society’s annual meeting in 2014. Some mighty choices for your muscles (in addition to animal-based products like chicken, fish and lean beef) include quinoa, chickpeas, nuts, spinach and seeds.

10. You’ll be happier.
Food and mood go hand in hand. And the better the food, the better your mood. If you need to brighten your day, go for berries, bananas, coffee, lean proteins, chocolate, omega-3 and turmeric fatty acids, all proven to boost your mental state.

Healthy with Jodi