To Know More….The Nuts & Bolts

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Have you every thought about starting a diet or getting healthier but didn’t? Or perhaps you started one and then quit?  What about going to the gym or committing to yourself to become more active and healthy?  I am sure everyone has but the real question is, what is really going on with you in these situation?
The truth is that your body tells you daily that you can be doing better.  It is constantly sending you messages (masked as symptoms) for you to eat better, lose weight, sleep deeper, move more and make extra time for self-love so that you can have more energy, age slower, experience an active sex drive and enjoy boundless health.  It is these signals that send a surge of motivation to change and to act.  The problem is that your deep rooted self-sabotaging habits revolt and work on overdrive to keep you in familiar routines by prioritizing things far less important before your own health.

Here is what I want for each one of my clients:

  • I want you to learn to listen to your body when it is speaking to you, it’s telling you what it needs.
  • I want you to live longer.
  • I want you to age appropriately
  • I want those wrinkles to soften and for you to have beautiful skin.
  • I want you to lose weight, if necessary and have more energy
  • I want your organs to thrive and to stay in good shape for your entire life.
  • I want what your body wants and I jump in heart and soul to equip you with the tools to start your transformation.
  • I partner with the part of you that motivates you to act and get healthy and I battle against the part of you that tries to stop you from achieving greater health.
  • I stay consistent until habits merge with your goals.
  • BUT, you are the one who has to do the work!

Integrative Medicine’s approach to health and medical treatment is an entirely different way of thinking.  Instead of just treating symptoms, I look upstream as far as I can to find the cause of health issues.  Where conventional medicine is focused on finding disease that can be treated with drugs or surgery, a functional integrative approach looks for the root causes and makes that the starting point.

An integrative functional approach does not mean that I will just replace your medicines with herbs.  That is still just managing symptoms.  A typical plan will likely address diet, sleep, relationships, stress and exercise.  I might however, use supplements and herbs to help manage symptoms while we work on the deeper changes.  I may also decide to incorporate other modalities like chiropractic, acupuncture which I have practitioners who I partner with for referrals.

Each person is unique, and therefore assessment and programs are tailored to your situation.  I discuss options and decide together what you want to tackle, and strategize how to actually accomplish your goals.

If you want to know more about me, here are some questions that I am often asked that may be helpful to you:

  1. What type of clients do you work best with?

I see the best results with those who have reached many of their goals in life and now feel like their health is holding them back.  They are ready to take the steps needed to change their health and are open to trying a new approach.  They don’t have to be gourmet chefs, but  at least be open to learning and experiencing greater comfort and know-how in their own kitchen.

2. How is what you offer different than traditional nutritionists?

Well typically most nutritionists offer solutions that stick to the guidelines which follow the food pyramid from the ADA.  I take into consideration that each person is unique in their own right which means they each have their own nutritional needs.  What works for one person, isn’t going to be the best across the board,  We are not a one size fits all world.

My clients look to me for personalized coaching and support on things as specific as food allergies, food sensitivities, digestive issues, yeast overgrowth, endocrine imbalances (hormonal), blood pressure and cholesterol balance, blood sugar control through their diet and as general as “how can I get meals on my table faster?”  While most nutritionists dwell on lists of good/bad foods.  I work with clients to create a  whole food diet that incorporates of course more plants and for those that still want meat in their diets as some body types actually require the addition of meat into their nutritional routine.  So helping them to reach their goals in a way that can be flexible and fun and benefits the health and well being of their entire family, so they don’t feel like they are making separate meals for everyone. No one has time to feel like a short order cook.

3. What is your approach to eating healthy?

Well you will be excited to hear to doesn’t have to turn your busy, successful lifestyle upside down and doesn’t involve gimmicks or be overly expensive.  You do have to be willing to spend time in your kitchen preparing whole foods and I also offer you guidance on how not to derail yourself when traveling and eating out.  I can offer you short cut suggestions and teach you how to incorporate prep -cooking techniques that will be time well spent to move you from the kitchen to the dining table with less hassle.

4.  What’s it like working with you once I become a client?

After we complete your initial session, which consists of a one-hour private consultation where we get to meet each other and see if we are the right fit, you can expect to make the transition a pleasurable part of your life.

I provide on-going support during and in-between our sessions to make sure you have the guidance needed to reach all of your health goals.  We speak over the phone for our weekly calls depending on what program you choose, and I’ll outline up to three, personalized, very simple actions steps to upgrade your nutrition at each session.

Each session will build upon the previous one, creating momentum and lasting results, delivered with lots of support and encouragement.

5.  How can I sample your work before I sign up?

You can sign up for my FREE blog .  Once you have added your email address you will always receive notification every time I post a new article, recipe or health tip.  This is a great way for you to get to know me, my work and if it speaks to you. So you can take the time to pour through the numerous topics, recipes and anatomy lessons I have there.

6. What kind of programs do you offer?

I invite you to take a look at my programs here.  I offer a range of programs for different needs, and budgets and if I feel that I can absolutely help you, I’ll go over them in great detail with you in your initial session.  By the way, I offer telephone and Skype sessions so geography doesn’t have to be an issue.

7. So what does it take to experience the benefits of working together?

In over a decade of professional teaching and mentoring and consulting, here are what I believe to be the necessary steps to reach your physical, emotional and wellness goals.  These 4 steps are important for your success:

  1. Clarify: The first step is knowing what results you want to achieve.  What is your reason for a more natural approach for supporting your health? What is the end result you desire?  You will need to get clear on the big picture of your personal journey and then step two becomes effortless.
  2. Commit:  Without a commitment to regular application, as with anything in life, results can be expected to be minimal.  Many people never move past step two because they have not found the greater purpose for what being healthy is supposed to feel like.  If you find yourself struggling, repeat step one.  The bottom line: what you put into any program is what you will get out.
  3. Direct: As you move further into making your lifestyle changes, your willpower will get stronger and you will find your drive and desire enhancing.  This comes with proper direction and support of a good teacher.  For some it will be about re-connecting with their love of self in a natural and non-dogmatic way; for others it will be about learning new life strategies for enhancing everyday living; for some it will be about removing self-limiting and self-destructive behaviors that hinder their forward progress and others their practice will be about cultivating energy for health, vitality, self-love, anti-aging support, anxiety-relief and body confidence and really this list of positives is ongoing.
  4. Application: Everything you will learn in your sessions spent with me will be applicable to everyday living.  You will learn how to apply what you learn in each session to improve the quality of your life through stronger health and vitality.  Your wealth is in your health; when you are feeling healthy and strong everything else in life is achievable.
  5. Refine: The nature of learning new habits and applying as well as experiencing the benefits provides ample opportunities to make subtle, yet powerful adjustments to suit your unique lifestyle and schedules.  This results in making who you are and everything you do better.
  6. Live: with ongoing practice, you will be applying and experiencing the benefits and deeper insights that equip you with the tools for continuous personal growth that can be used to assist you in living fully and achieving your personal and even professional goals.  When we feel clear headed and have higher levels of physical energy it boosts our productivity in all levels of what we call “our lives.”

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Jodi Barnett N.D., Orthomolecular Nutritionist, QFA Clinician, Gaps Diet Practitioner.

To Me, living well means so much more than how one looks on the outside physically.

I took my passion for healthy living and created  an inspiring educational approach that awakens my clients innate desire to tap into their unique rhythms for a healthier more joyous living.

The healthful and practical nutritional choices  need to provide fuel for your body and mind

to enhance your quality of life.

I believe strongly that every single individual has the power within them to honor themselves by achieving a healthier mind and body.  The journey is easier than you think when you have the right information to assist you.  I teach clients how to make small nutritional changes that reap big results in their health.

I bring a combination of my professional qualifications, consulting experience and personal journey to all my consultations allow me to share…

HEALTHY LIVING PRINCIPLE #1

HOME IS WHERE HEALTHY LIVING STARTS.

True health begins at home, the heart of where we rest and recharge.  The relationships we have with ourselves, our partners, families, and physical dwelling impact hugely on and may determine the state of our health.  Integrating healthy lifestyle and eating habits into our home environment is one of the most powerful tools we have over our health and long-term wellness and happiness.

HEALTHY LIVING PRINCIPLE #2

HEALTHY HOMES CREATE HEALTHY FUTURES.

Children are the future; they are the next generation.  They hold in their power the ability to build a world greater than we ever could have fathomed for ourselves.  Healthy children from a healthy  living home will yield healthy leaders, communities, and life.. Children are like sponges.  They absorb what is around them.  Engage in healthy living, healthy foods, and self-nurture and you will raise children where healthy living is second nature. We must lead by example, you won’t fool them into being healthy.

HEALTHY LIVING PRINCIPLE #3

FINDING YOUR OWN ROUTINE IS THE NEW LIFE BALANCE.

I believe each person  brings with them a unique life routine.  We need to honor our respective rhythm or we risk being overly influenced by our peers and society.

Consistently staying in sync with our unique human blueprint allows us to thrive in every aspect of our lives.  Authenticity in emotional, social, mental, spiritual and physical realms keeps us connected to our source and feeds that inner calm.

Reconnecting to our inner selves may always feel like a journey, but just as you pause and reflect upon different aspects in your life; perhaps your career or life direction, it is important from time to time to take a step back and reflect on your daily rhythms/routines; your food choices, sleep patterns, exercise and more – then the hard part is to reevaluate whether or not they are serving you in a positive or negative way.

HEALTHY LIVING PRINCIPLE #4

EDUCATION EMPOWERS.

Once you learn the various health and nutritional options you do have, you will feel empowered to make new choices that prove to be both satisfying and beneficial, and your desire to have a body, mind and soul that blossoms into it’s healthier version by design.

HEALTHY LIVING PRINCIPLE #5

SMALL CHANGES, BRING BIG RESULTS.

Healthy living doesn’t translate into being deprived…. It is about incorporating slight changes that yield big gains.  Its really is about tailoring your efforts to your circumstances and your needs so that everything you implement works for you and your life.

HEALTHY LIVING PRINCIPLE #6

FOOD AFFECTS EVERYTHING AND CAN ENHANCE YOUR LIFE.

The quality of the food you put into your body influences the quality of your thoughts and your thoughts will color every experience in your life.  Eating healthier leads to a clean and clear body, mind and soul.  Choose wisely instead of leaning on convenience due to lack of planning ahead for your daily schedule.

HEALTHY LIVING PRINCIPLE #7

YOU HAVE THE POWER.

No one can improve your health but yourself.  No one can take responsibility for your choices.  No one can control you unless you allow them too.  Taking ALL responsibility may seem daunting, but with all responsibility also comes all the power.  The power is yours.  Own it by empowering yourself.  I will show you how when we work together.

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Healthfully yours,

Jodi Barnett N.D., Orthomolecular Nutritionist,

QFA Clinician.

Harvested Health LLC

(Sharing is Caring, so feel free to share my posts, articles etc. with those who you feel are looking for a different way).


KID HEALTHY!

monounsaturated fats

 

Probably the #1 complaint I hear on a regular basis from my patient’s who are parents:  I cannot get my children to want to eat healthy foods!  Here is typically how I respond:

 

Begin slowly, replacing all snacks with fruits.  Then replace one meal a day with salad and a baked potato.  Serve a smoothie for breakfast with some raw nut butter mixed in for protein and to make more filling, instead of box cereal or toast.  Keep expanding the options.

It takes fortitude, but you must be lovingly firm.  If your child wanted to drink a 5th of vodka, would you give it to him?  Of course not you know it would be harmful to him.  Yet, it is the same concept with unhealthy foods and snacks.  Why give your child candy, pastries or hot dogs, when you know they are not good for them?  Does it matter that the damage takes years to manifest?   You may have allowed them to eat these unhealthy foods before, but now that you are learning better, trust me when I tell you that you will begin to see health & behavior changes little by little knowing as a parent that these are good!

When I work with families to begin to reduce the amount of proteins they are consuming because it makes our bodies too acidic.  (We live in a society that is OBESSED with protein intake). Many parents fear that their child will not be consuming near enough protein to grow and be healthy.  Yet with all the questionable issues surrounding our meat industry and the artificial chemicals being pumped into the animals… the REAL question should be IF we cut down or cut our meat in our diets all together, how will we get adequate amounts of protein?   LET ME SHOW YOU!

Here is a quick eye-opener about the percentage of protein that comes from these whole foods:

PROTEIN PERCENTAGES BELOW:

Vegetables: 1/2 cup to 1 cup serving

  • spinach   49%
  • broccoli   45%
  • Kale   45%
  • Leafy lettuce 34%
  • zucchini  28%
  • tomato 18%

Fruits: 1/2 cup to 1 cup serving

  • honeydew 16%
  • cantaloupe 9%
  • orange 8%
  • apricot 8%
  • grapes 8%
  • banana 5%
  • apple 1%

Grains/nuts/seeds: 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup serving

  • sprouted wheat 18%
  • Buckwheat 15%
  • walnuts 13%
  • almonds 12%
  • cashews 12%
  • pumpkin seeds 21%
  • sunflower seeds 17%

Given this brief breakdown, clearly protein is not an issue as many fear when they embark on a more whole food even raw diet.

So let’s consider “calories”:

The National Academy of Sciences has set the recommended daily dietary allowances for children as follows:

Ages 1-2               900-1800 calories

Ages 4-6               1300-2300 Calories

Ages 7-10             1650-3300 Calories

Then we start moving into adult ratios for calorie intakes

The wide range for each age group is due to variances in height, weight and activity levels.  Not all calories are created equal.  Many children that eat the Standard American Diet consume vast amounts of calories, far exceeding these recommended guidelines.  The calories consume are also empty calories, providing not a whole bunch if any nutritional value.  As a result, they may be receiving enough calories to fill the body’s energy needs, but are nutritionally deficient because the calories consumed are not providing the nutrients the body needs to maintain and optimize other functions.

 

Kids who “eat all day” and seemingly cannot get enough food, are experiencing their body’s signals for nutrients, NOT calories!  When we eat mostly cooked foods, (especially if it includes refined flour products, sugar and other empty calorie substances) the body doesn’t feel full because it’s hungry for nutrients.  When the body signals with hunger, asking for more nutrients and is given these nutritionally deficient foods, it keeps signaling, demanding what it needs.  The result is a body that is overweight (excess calories, but, nutritionally starving).  Sadly, this is the state of most of our society today, adults and children alike!

When you change the types of foods, the body is allowed to purify, and is receiving abundant nutrients from fresh fruits and vegetables, it becomes amazingly efficient at assimilating these nutrients.  The results are a decreased appetite nd better functioning of the body and mind.  It will amaze you at the decreased amounts of food you will need once you start eating a diet higher in raw fresh foods.  Reduce the amount of cooked meals you consume and at the beginning of this transition , you could be hungrier than you were before but, after a couple of weeks,  your appetite levels should adjust to the higher quality of foods being consumed.  (Don’t be expect to see miracles in a couple of days!) Changing habits takes repetition!

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THE DIET-BEHAVIOR CONNECTION:

I don’t believe that any of us need scientific studies to tell us that the foods our kids eat affect how they behave.  Attend a typical birthday party, an hour after cake and punch is served you can see it for yourself in living color… Any teacher will tell you the weeks after Halloween and Easter are the worst times of the year.  Typically, sugar has been the culprit blamed for hyperactivity and unruliness.  I have discovered that there are many more subtle and far reaching things that are affecting our children through their diets!  I have been surprised to learn what should have been apparent all along; that when we eat anything that is altered from its natural state it alters US from our natural state because the body has to make adjustments to accept what has been consumed.  Perhaps, we don’t even know who o ur “real” children are; having never experienced their company, and seen their potential expressed through a pure and detoxified body with genuine emotions to go along with it?

The behavior our children exhibit directly influences how others treat them.  When a child is not given the chance to experience a pure, functioning physical body, he is ot able to relate to those around him in a way that builds strong, loving relationships.  Of course, we love our children, but, what parent can’t relate to the frustration of dealing with a demanding, high-maintenance child on a daily basis?

Many times these children will go through their entire childhood unaware that what they are eating contributes to or caused their problems.  Unfortunately, these children usually receive a label such as hyperactive, difficult or slow, which follows them through their entire school years and influences how they view themselves leading to low self-esteem.  Many times the parents don’t realize there is a problem having grown so used to these behaviors and devising various methods of dealing with them, (sad to say many parents out of frustration add to the problems by giving in to food choices to suffice an out of control child to get a moment of peace).  It is usually not until others (i.e. teachers, siblings, and friends) perceive the child as a problem because of the behaviors, that real perception is reflected back to the child.  It becomes the child’s perception of self now@.  If the child constantly operates in a fog, unable to grasp fully the world around them, their educations suffers, setting them up for future difficulties as they go through life.  This is why it is so important to understand the diet/behavior connection and to understand that what the child eats not only influence their behavior but how others treat them and how they view themselves and their place in the whole of the society they live in. (anyone been watching the news in the past 10 years or so and see our children/teens making smooth transitions into society?  or are we hearing of more and more violence at the hands of these young people?)  Bullying, teasing, name calling, children feeling isolated lashing out…. How can there not be a connection folks, the motor is only as good as the quality of fuel being pumped in the tank!

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MEAL IDEAS

Most of us are used to preparing meals for our families with the basic food groups in mind.  There is usually a main dish (meat, or a protein sources), a starch and a veggie.  This is how we learned to cool.  When you adopt a more raw approach you can forget all of that.  Simplicity is the key.  It is perfectly alright to sit down and eat three bananas for lunch.  If you make the preparation of raw food meals into your routine overly complicated… YOU HAVE MISSED THE POINT!  This is especially important if there are others in your house who are not following a whole food/raw diet.

If you are trying to prepare two different meals for your family’s dinner you are setting yourself up for disaster.  Try to get away from the idea that each meal has to be so different.

BREAKFAST:

The idea that breakfast is the most important meal of the day comes from the advertising of the cereal companies.  It is actually better to have some freshly juiced produce or fruit until the noon meal, or to skip breakfast allowing the body to continue its fast (detoxification) which began during the sleep period. Some children will need a bit extra protein which can be given simply in the form of 1/2 cup of raw nuts of their liking.

A heavy breakfast ties up the body’s energy, making us sluggish and tired.  The two things your body expends the most energy on is digestion and elimination. If your child struggles with constipation issues, guess what their body wants to devote the most energy to, digestion OR elimination?   If you guessed elimination you were right!

In the morning, you can make vegetable juice made from a juicer.  This can include carrot apple, kale, celery and/or a variety of produce choices.

If you feel something more substantial in the morning is needed, you can have some sprouted buckwheat as a cereal with some fresh juice.  You can opt for sliced fruit or sprouted buckwheat cereal with raisin.  you can serve melon, a smoothie and fresh berries in the summer or soaked dried fruit in the winter.

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LUNCH:

At lunch you can let your family decide if they want fruit or a green salad.  A heavier meal like an apple dipped in a raw nut butter is tasty.  If your family is not totally raw you can provide a bowl of vegetable soup or steamed vegetables.  The hardest thing is to wean your family away from the typical lunch time sandwich.  Cooked starch (bread) is one of the most difficult addictions to give up.  I refer to cooked starch as an addiction because I believe the chemical reaction in the body after eating cooked starch acts as a drug, releasing a dopamine provoking  sedative effect.

This has been my own experience after going for some time without bread, then eating it again.  If you doubt the addictive quality of bread, try going without for several days, I mean having zero baked starch.  Then sit down and eat some and watch how your mental clarity changes or your digestive system reacts.  (YES this includes gluten-free products)

Try using cabbage or lettuce leaves instead and place veggies, like avocado, sprouts cucumber, tomato, grated zucchini etc. and roll these up like a burrito. (If your child is used to lots of sweets, grate up an apple or chop up some dried fruit and add to the vegetables to sweeten as you wean their palates.

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DINNER:

This zone can get tricky for many as dinner is that one meal where everyone tends to come together, especially when the children are still smaller.  For this reason dinner seems more “official” and carries more meaning as we prepare the food we are to share with ur loved ones.  Let the kids help prepare the evening salad, it adds to the one on one with your kids.  You can serve a large salad, be creative include raw nuts, sprouts and raw cheese and on occasions some pasta on the side.  Have a plate of lightly steamed veggies or soup or baked potato.  Change your mind set that dinner has to be a 7 course blown out meal that our digestive system struggles to break down because it is too much.

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IS IT EXPENSIVE TO EAT THIS WAY?

Many clients complain that they would love to eat this way but it is too expensive.  Like we talked about before, you are used to the volume of food consumed when eating over cooked, processed, empty calorie foods.  Once you switch to more raw/whole food choices, it may take a week or two for your body to adjust but you will find your family is snacking less and consuming less  volume of food.  How many of you can sit down and eat a 3LB bag of apples at one sitting?  Your body will not allow it, the type of natural fiber and the way it reacts with our digestive process will automatically cause a gag reflex to stop you from overeating.  Try that with a 3 ob. bag of potato chips, you can eat the whole bag and still be hungry.

The next question is organic is so expensive… yes it does cost more, and not all produce needs to be organic, you can look up the dirty dozen and try to buy the produce that tends to have higher pesticide loads, and do non organic on the ones that do not.  Reduce cost by planting a garden n the spring and include the kiddo’s when caring for it to instill a love for how food is grown you will be teaching them a valuable lesson.  Over all for a family of 7, we can spend anywhere from $325.00 per  month to $400.00 per month on groceries depending on the season.  We don’t buy a whole bunch of junk food products (my hubs likes some of his junk snacks, especially ice cream). Making some of those items from scratch will always be cheaper and healthier options for treats.  We also buy in bulk the basic staples which is more cost effective.  I found out early on that when we were still buying half cooked food items and half raw items, we spent almost $700.00 tp$750.00 per month.  The cost of fresh food is still considerably lower than processed and convenience foods.  The cost of packaging (cans, bottles, boxes, freezer packs etc…) is costly to the pocketbook and the planet with waste.  Buy the convenience foods adds to your expenses in other ways as well, when you consume more of those items your family us usually not as healthy and more frequent trips to the doctor for illness is normally incurred as well.  Buy in bulk when possible.  Invest in a large freezer and a juicer.  Two of the best appliances you can obtain toward improving not only the quality of health and vitality for your family but it will save you money in the long run too.  Another appliance that is useful is a dehydrator.  You can dry your own herbs and vegetables for winter use.

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Some quick ideas:

Salads: (Be creative) there is no wrong way to really make one.

  • sliced tomato or several cherry tomatoes
  • sliced cucumber
  • celery
  • carrot
  • sugar snap peas
  • red cabbage shredded
  • numb bean, lentil and alfalfa sprouts
  • jicama
  • zucchini
  • broccoli/cauliflower
  • bok choy
  • mushrooms
  • avocado
  • olives
  • sunflower/pumpkin ,pecan/almond nuts and seeds

With so many things to choose from in the veggie world it is hard to get bored with salads if you are not afraid to be creative! Make your dressing from raw ingredients and buy organic bottled dressings made with cold pressed oils.  Otherwise, a 1/4 up of raw apple cider vinegar with 1 cup cold pressed olive oil, some Italian spices and the juice of 1/2 lemon and a hint of fresh apple juice mixed in is an excellent dressing!

Taco salad:

  • chopped romaine lettuce
  • chopped tomato
  • olives
  • sliced cucumber
  • sprouts of choice
  • guacamole in the center and fresh salsa of your choice over entire salad.

Buckwheat cereal:

Buckwheat is one of the softest grains.  It is moist and sprouts fast and easily.  Soak3/4 cup raw hulled buckwheat groats for 5-6 hours.  Drain and rinse several times till water runs clear.  Turn jar upside down in a drainer.  Repeat this rinsing several times thru the day.  You will notice sprouts appearing after one day.  Continue to rinse several times a day for 2 days, the sprouts will be about 1/4 inch in length.  They are now read to eat.  Place desired amount of sprouts in a bowl it won’t take much thee are dense and filling and top with raisins of fruit of your choice.  Add raw nut milk.  This is a good recipe for transition because it is filling and substitutes for a processed cereal so many kids at are used to.  You can store the sprouts jar and all in the refrigerator up to 3 days.  The sprouts will continue to grow, they may still be eaten.

Raw Hummus:

This is a great dip for raw veggies or to spread on dehydrated crackers or sprouted breads.  you can add as much tahini as you like creating a smoother texture.  Bu sure to process using a food processor for a creamy texture.

  • 2 cups sprouted chickpeas also called garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 TB minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup rat tahini blended sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or avocado oil
  • Braggs liquid Amino to taste

Blend all ingredients in food processor or blender until creamy.

 

Chocolate Shake:

This tastes like a chocolate milk shake.

Blend in a blender and serve:

  • 1 fresh banana
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 4 pitted dates
  • 1TB carob powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1TB raw tahini
  • you can sub nut milk in place of the water and you can also toss in 2 TB of flax meal for additional fiber and omega 3 benefit
  • This is a guarantee to satisfy a sweet tooth or chocolate craving and no need to feel guilty.

Obviously this topic can dive much deeper;  I offer raw food & juicing classes and I also have different consultation packages available.  You can go to www.mkt.com/harvested-health-llc and see what services would work for you.

Remember folks, WE are the example to our children,  the old saying “do as I say NOT as I do” didn’t work for you as a child and it will also fail to work for your children.  Children are sponges, they will watch and imitate you and what you do.  IF they see you sneaking food they will too.

Also don’t use food for a reward system.  You are setting them up for emotional connections to those foods, which lets face it are NEVER centered around, Oh honey you got straight A’s,  lets celebrate with a big bowl of broccoli…. seriously.  Reward them with a movie, or a special trip to the theme park etc.  Don’t center it around junk food rewards!

Thank you all for your continued support and for liking, sharing and reading my posts.  It is much appreciated…

Till next time…

Healthfully yours,

Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.

Harvested Health LLC

http://www.jodibarnett758.com

 

 

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ARE WE WIRED FOR “STRESS”?

Stress, talk to any given person and you will come to realize nobody is immune from some element in their lives that contributes to their stress level.  When we take the time to also understand what is affected in our body as a result of stress, we can open a big door towards understanding and a starting place where many  health issues set-up their roots.

Every part of our body is interconnected by a communication system of nerve cells, referred to as neurons, their job is to send messages through a combination of electrical impulses and chemical messengers.  This system is our nervous system, a set of wires that allows every body function to do their job!

This nervous system of ours is incredibly complex, especially the brain, which contains about 100 billion neurons.  In fact, the brain houses 98% of the neurons in our body. This control center is protected by the skull and its importance is demonstrated by the fact that although it makes up only 2% of our body’s weight, the brain uses about 25% of our oxygen supply and as much as 20% of the sugar we take in.

The brain has very high metabolism and it is highly affected y what we eat.  Although modern medicine has historically tended to discount the role of nutrition in mental health, studies have begun to show strong links between our nutritional intake and various neurological and psychiatric conditions.  Research has also shown that food choices made during pregnancy, lactation ad early childhood ma have long term consequences on a child’s mental development.  Other research suggests that good nutrition can improve you brain function and reduce your risk of brain disorders.

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YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!

If you typically follow my blog, you will start to see a pattern… and it’s a pattern that you can CHOOSE to deny, but that denial won’t change the truth of the evidence.  I believe that saying “you are what you eat” applies particularly to our brain.  A junk food diet short circuits the mental attitude and emotional responses, creating, in effect a trashy brain!  Ever been to a child’s birthday party and witness for yourself the transformation in all the kiddo’s AFTER the cake and icecream?  They get lit up with super charged energy then the crash and burn sets in and the temper tantrums, crying/whining phases begin.

When we look at the typical poor diet of the people in our country, it’s no wonder that nervous system issues like stress, depression, anxiety and insomnia affect millions of people.  Its also why we are seeing an increase in the amount of folks struggling with Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and dementia.  We are trying to run our built in computer system on the wrong voltage setting and we are winding up feeling frayed, frazzled and even fried.  Simply put… A good mind is a terrible thing to waste, and we need to start caring for our brain and nervous system better.  Keep reading and lets go over the HOW part….

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YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM

Our nervous system consists of:

  • the brain
  • spinal column
  • peripheral nerves

These 3 parts literally regulate everything that happens in and with our bodies.  Whether you realize it is happening conscious or unconsciously trust me it never get a vacation.  There really are two parts that play a vital role:

  1. The conscious or voluntary part of the nervous system is what allows us to perceive information through our senses, analyze and remember information and it’s what allows us to move our skeletal muscles to regulate conscious actions.
  2. The unconscious or involuntary branch of our nervous system is known as the” autonomic nervous system”.  It takes are of what we don’t have to think about, like the heart beating, digesting our food, regulating our body temperature and making sure we breathe.

The autonomic nervous system is further divided into two more branches:

  1. sympathetic nervous system: when we are excited, stressed or scared, the sympathetic nervous system tenses our muscles, makes our heart beat faster and moves blood away from our digestive organs to our muscles.  It gears us up for action, but shuts down digestion and elimination.  This helps explain why stress and anxiety make us tense, stress our heart and raise our blood pressure, give us indigestion and make us constipated.
  2. parasympathetic nervous system: is what is in charge when we are relaxing and trying to unwind.  it moves blood to the digestive organs, relaxes muscles and aids elimination.  There is a reason why people have traditionally made mealtime a time for relaxing and socializing.  It aids the digestion process.  Our body initiates healing and self-repair in the parasympathetic mode.

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Our nerves work by a combination of electrical impulses and chemical messengers referred to as “neurotransmitters”.  When a nerve cell gets stimulated, it fires an electrical impulse that moves down the length of the cell.  At the far end of this neuron (nerve cell), the electrical impulse causes the nerve to release neurotransmitters into the gap (known as the synapse) between this nerve and the next one.  The neurotransmitters cross the synapse to the next nerve cell and either stimulate or inhibit it from firing another electrical impulse. 

We know that sleep, mood, appetite and behavior are all influenced by the different types of transmitter chemicals being released in our brain and nerves.  Depression, addiction, mania, schizophrenia, Alzhiemer’s Disease, Parkinson’s disease and ADHD are some of the major disorders now known to involve imbalances in neurotransmitters.

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WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT NEUROTRANSMITTERS AND WHAT DO THEY DO?

Serotonin:  is most commonly associated with alleviating depression, serotonin receptors have been found to also control hunger, sleep, pain response, seizure and peristalsis as well as function of the limbic system and brain.

Acetylcholine: is involved in memory and muscle movement, making it a primary neurotransmitter in the voluntary nervous system.  Alzheimer’s disease is now believed to be caused by a destruction of the neurotransmitters in the brain that produce acetylcholine.

Epinephrine and Norepinephrine: these are referred to as “catecholamines” along with dopamine.  Catecholamines are responsible for peripheral nervous system effects (elevated blood pressure and blood sugar, muscular contraction and the release of a thyroid stimulating hormone from the pituitary) as well as central nervous system responses involving respiration and psychomotor activity.  They are the primary neurotransmitters in the sympathetic nervous system.

Dopamine: another catecholamine, responsible for sexual arousal and muscular coordination.  It is the neurotransmitter that is deficient in those who suffer from Parkinson’s Disease.  Again, destruction of the brain cells that produce this neurotransmitter is thought to be responsible.  Where there are low levels of glutathione (an intracellular antioxidant) or there is an excess amount of iron, dopamine degrades into free radicals.

GABA: is best known as the inhibitor of presynaptic transmission, or it keeps the brain from being “trigger happy.”  When in balance, GAA prevents anxiety and increases mental clarity.  Anxiolytic drugs of the benzodiazepine family (valium, Xanax) work off of the soothing effects of GABA receptor response.

There are some other neurotransmitters, like histamine, endorphins, enkephalins, substance P, and nitric acid.  I will save discussion of those for a later blog post.

Synapse

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WHAT BASIC CARE SHOULD WE BE INITIATING TO NOURISH AND PROTECT OUR BRAIN AND NERVES?

I want to go overboard to be emphatic “our nervous system is the most nutritionally sensitive system in our body.”  Long before we develop actual physical conditions from poor nutrition, we will feel the mental and emotional effects of a lack of good nutrition.  What does that look like:

  • fuzzy thinking (brain fog)
  • absentmindedness,
  • mental confusion
  • nervousness
  • insomnia
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • memory loss

DID YOU KNOW? Exposure to heavy metals and other toxins are now being linked to a variety of neurological symptoms, ranging from depression to autism!

 

I am hoping to bring some understanding as to the biochemical make-up of the brain and nerves so we can better understand how to nourish these the right way.  The brain is  70% water, so it is super sensitive to being dehydrated and let me state that 3 out of 5 people I see in my office/practice are clinically dehydrated!  So, if you really want to think clearer and protect your gray brain matter, start by drinking half your body weight in ounces every day of clean pure water.

Moving on… 50-60% of the dry weight of our brain is made up of fat with 35% of that being omega-3 fatty acids.  So if you want to keep your brain healthy you need to be a “fat-head” by eating the right kinds of fats.  The most abundant omega 3 fatty acid in the brain is DHA, which the brain needs for function and it’s found in fish oil, especially the cold water fish.  DHA is available as a single supplement and is also found in a variety of Omega-3 products. Understand too, if you are on prescription medications for cholesterol, it is depleting the Essential fatty acids in your body too, so be sure to “supplement” these in the diet!

On the flip side, you want to avoid hydrogenated oils like shortenings and margarine and trans-fatty acids from processed and dried foods.  These fats do not do the brain good!

The brain also needs a strong supply of amino acids from protein.  The neurotransmitters I talked about earlier are built from amino acids.  Meals that have adequate protein tend to increase levels of dopamine and norepinephrine which results in more alert mind and better moods.

Foods high in the B-vitamins are essential for lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.  B-vitamins are involved in helping the formation of neurotransmitters like dopamine, epinephrine, and serotonin.

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WHATS THE REAL SCOOP ON “SUGAR”?

Our brain consumes more blood sugar than any other organ and takes this sugar directly from the bloodstream without the need for insulin.  The amount of sugar in your blood directly controls the amount of sugar reaching our brain.

If we have too much sugar the results look like:

  • agitation
  • irritability
  • nervousness

If we have too little sugar the results look like:

  • mental confusion
  • irritability
  • shakiness
  • fatigue
  • cold nose and limbs
  • cravings for sugar

So actually, blood sugar issues are linked to:

  • forgetfulness,
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • mental confusion
  • age-related cognitive decline
  • dementia
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Although our brain needs sugar as a key energy source, simple sugars actually contribute to the brain fog and mental decline.  Consequently, selecting complex carbohydrates, like fruits, vegetables and whole grains over foods that contain refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, white flour and other process grains is where a major shift for most folks needs to begin.

Be sure to include high quality protein and fats with your meals as these will help stabilize blood sugar levels and keep our brain working better!

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WHAT ARE SOME OF THE WAYS WE ARE ACTUALLY “POISONING” OUR MINDS?

We are hearing more and more about “toxins” and where they fit into our daily lives.  Some of these toxins can seriously damage the brain, especially the ones that are fat-soluble like petrochemical solvents.  Since the nervous system is made up primarily of fats, anything that will dissolve fats and oils such as stain removers, gasoline and other solvents can easily penetrate the skin and they affect our nerves.

The renowned toxicologist Warren Clough was one of the chemists who went into the Nazi chemical plants at the end of WWII and collected their research on chemical weapons.  This technology, originally intended to  harm and kill enemy combatants, was later used to develop pesticides and herbicides.  The primary was that pesticides kill insects is by disabling their nervous systems.  Its not too difficult to connect the dots that the potential effect of pesticides on us humans, who ingest small, but continual dosages of these chemicals in our foods leave a time released damaging effect on our neurological system, of which we are beginning to see surface in the higher numbers of people being diagnosed with neurological diseases.

Many people are exposed to heavy metals on a daily basis.  The definition of heavy metals by chemists is actually problematic because there are heavy metals that fall in the category of necessary nutrients like iron, manganese and zinc.  Other heavy metals however, like mercury, plutonium and lead, are toxic.  There are also metals that are actually physically light, like aluminum, yet are also toxic to our body.  Some chemists suggest that the metals that damage the body should be called “toxic metals”.  For our purposes, heavy metals are defined not as metals that are heavy, but as metals that have a heavy burdensome effect on our body.

The toxic effect of heavy metals is a well-known issue because of their body ravaging effects on the workers in factories that manufacture products using these metals.  In a list of 38 symptoms associated with exposure to mercury, cadmium, lead, aluminum and arsenic, only 7 of these symptoms were NOT associated with the nervous system.. That means about more than three-fourths of health issues associated with heavy metals directly affect our nervous system.

Here’s a list of some of the substances to avoid IF you want a healthier nervous system:

  1. pharmaceutical drugs
  2. excessive consumption of alcohol especially from aluminum cans
  3. chemical solvents (stop cleaning your homes with these heavy hitting cleaners)
  4. pesticides and herbicides
  5. excessive consumption of coffee, black tea, and caffeinated sodas
  6. refined sugar and white flour
  7. hydrogenated oil
  8. animal fats from commercially raised animals.

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SPECIFIC NERVOUS SYSTEM PROBLEMS

The stress response is a normal and healthy response to danger.  To describe this, experts often use the example of being chased by a tiger.  If you were ever to come face to face with a tiger, you would want your body to generate as much energy and strength as needed to run away from or fight of the tiger.  That is why the stress response is also called the “fight or flight” response.

The stress response involves a shift in our nervous system that strongly activates our sympathetic nerves, releasing more epinephrine, and inhibits the parasympathetic nerves.  This causes our pupils to dilate, to let more light in for clearer vision.  The digestive process stops because this is not the time to be sitting down for lunch!  The bladder and rectum contract because there is no time for a pit stop.  And the heart rate increases to get lots of oxygen and nutrition to our muscles since the body senses we need to run or fight for our lives!

These responses are supported by our adrenal glands, because the sympathetic nervous system also stimulates the adrenals to release stress hormones, including more epinephrine and cortisol.  Our brain is affected by all of this because our higher brain centers where we have our cool/calm and rational thoughts shut down, causing us to react instinctively from lower brain centers.  If you have ever swerved without thinking to avoid an accident on the highway, this is what just happened.

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WHAT QUALIFIES AS UNHEALTHY DAMAGING STRESS?

Truth be told, most of the “dangers” in our modern lives are not actual physical dangers like encountering lions, tigers and bears, (oh my)… But a stack of unpaid bills can feel like a threat to our survival, but doesn’t allow for an instinctive physical response.  Instead, most modern issues require us to calmly and rationally make decisions about how e can solve the problem.

 

This is where stress transforms into anxiety!  When the fight or flight response is triggered by situation where there is no really physical danger, it inhibits our memory and our ability to think clear.  Test anxiety is an example of this.  When a student comes face to face with their own fright of taking an exam, epinephrine and cortisol levels rise and the student is unable to access old memory.  So often we hear students say I knew that before I walked into the room, but when I took the test, my mind just went blank!

 

In addition, unlike swerving to avoid a car accident, these dangers of modern society often last for months and for some people years!  The continuous activation of the stress response, over and over again has a cumulative effect, which leads to a feeling of “burn-out”, a state of emotional and nervous exhaustion.

 

This burned out feeling is common to soldiers who faced constant real stress on the battlefield.  It was called shell-shock in World War ( and battle fatigue in World War II.  Today, it is called Pot-traumatic stress disorder.  Whatever you choose to call it, you don’t need to go to war to experience the battle fatigue, or post traumatic stress disorder, you just need to experience poorly managed stress over an extended period of time.

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DID Y OU KNOW?  Caffeine is the #1 enemy to our nervous system!

Public Enemy #1 for our sympathetic nervous system activity and cortisol levels is “caffeine”. This is how it wakes us up and puts us on alert.  If we are in parasympathetic mode, caffeine returns us to a state of sympathetic fight or flight chemistry.  What is so insidious about caffeine is that when we are in a relaxed state an we are presented with a potential stressor like an overdue bill, we are less likely to perceive the overdue bill as stressful.  But when we are in stress chemistry already, we are more likely to perceive the overdue bill as stressful.

This means that when we are happy, potential problems tend to roll off of us and don’t overwhelm our happiness.  But once we are in sympathetic mode, potential problems are taken over the top serious and our stress escalates, putting us into a downward spiral.  Knowing that caffeine can cause this it seems more intelligent to forego the caffeine and choose to achieve the same alertness with an adaptogen like Eleuthero and just skip the stress and anxiety altogether!

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HOW CAN WE MANAGE OUR STRESS THAT HELPS VS. HURTS?

Studies are all over the place that prove that stress has a negative impact on our body and yet stressful experiences happen to everyone.  Truth is STRESS isn’t going anywhere, it’s been here from the beginning of time.  What we need are the tools and skills that can help us manage the effects of the stress in our life so we can bounce back!

 

#1: STOP AND TAKE A DEEP BREATH

The fastest way to activate the parasympathetic nervous system to restore calm ad clear thinking is to breathe deeply.  Sympathetic breathing is the direct opposite, it is rapid and shallow, so breathing deep activates the relaxing side of the nervous system.

A simple technique:  breathe in while counting to four…. and exhale counting to four, and keep repeating this until you “feel” yourself calming down.

#2  WHAT ARE ADAPTOGENS?

There is a class of herbals referred to as adaptogens.  the mediate the output of our stress hormones so you feel calm and more relaxed.

#3 BREAK OUT THE B-COMPLEX

B-vitamins are particularly important for the nervous system and for energy production.  By depleting these vitamin, refined carbs, increase our anxiety and nervousness.  To satisfy those carb cravings, look for products made with whole grains and unrefined sugars, and consider taking a good anti- stress vitamin and mineral supplement. ( I will post my suggestions at the end of this post complete with links for you)

#4 PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Remember when I said that the body produces specific stress hormones and the body starts pumping more blood to the muscles to equip the body to “run”.  The body is being primed for action.  So doing some sort of physical action will help burn them off.  Ever noticed how just taking a walk when you feel stressed helps relax you?  So do what ever physical activity you enjoy:

  • walking
  • swimming
  • golf
  • yoga etc.

#5 PAMPER YOURSELF

According to Dr. Paul Pearsall, author of The Pleasure Prescription” a pleasurable experience does more good for the body than a stressful experience does harm.  Pleasure enhances health, energy and emotional well being.  It causes muscles to relax and even triggers healing.  So rather than waste your time trying to a void stress, plan time for pleasure.  Go get a massage, learn a hobby, soak in a hot tub, listen to soft music, diffuse calming essential oils. Surround your self with soothing softer colors and avoid primary colors even the color choice of your clothing makes a difference.

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WHAT ARE SOME OF THE EFFECTS OF CHRONIC STRESS CYCLES?

DEPRESSION: I think everyone has felt down in the dumps at one time or another.  Feeling down, sad, tired or unmotivated because of a temporary los or setback is actually normal.  However, some people can hit those lows and just can’t get back up again and they become clinically depressed!

If you are suffering from depression,  know that you are not alone. Statistics suggest that about 18.8 million folks suffer from depression, which is just a tad shy of 10% of the adult U.S. population.  Adults are not the only ones suffering from depression.  It is becoming increasingly more common in our teens and children too.

The modern medical world treats this with drugs called antidepressants.  The most commonly used anti-depressant drugs act as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and include:

  • prozac
  • paxil
  • zoloft

These SSRIs create a false sense of detachment and the excess serotonin creates an elevation of mood.  There is some evidence to suggest that they are linked with violent and antisocial behavior too.

Fortunately, we can increase serotonin levels with nutrition.  Serotonin production is directly linked to levels of L-tryptophan, which is an amino acid in the brain.  Eating more complex carbs, like whole fruits, veggies, and whole grains help stabilize L-tryptophan levels in the brain.  Refined carbs and simple sugars give a quick fix. they life the mood but drop it like a rock shortly there after.

AGE-RELATED MEMORY LOSS

the brain is sensitive to damage from inflammation and free radicals, so another part of feeding the brain is to eat plenty of antioxidant rich fresh fruits and veggies, organically grown where you can. 5-9 servings a day of these health protecting foods daily.

When we can’t get adequate amounts of fruits and veggies, a whole food supplement that features antioxidant rich fruits and botanicals is a convenient substitute. A blend to reach for should contain naturally occurring antioxidants which include polyphenols, flavonoids, xanthones and vitamin C.

I will list choices I recommend at the end of this post.

SOMETHING TO TRY AT HOME…

The eye’s pupil contracts under the influence of the parasympathetic nervous system and enlarges under the sympathetic nervous system.  So one can tell whether a person is in sympathetic or parasympathetic mode by looking at the pupils.

Examine the eyes of a friend or loved one to see what nervous system mode they are in.

 

To make this activity even more fun have friends or family members smell different essential oils to see whether their pupils enlarge or contract.  Different essential oils affect the nervous system in different ways.

 

Oils like lavender, ylang ylang and chamomile typically activate the parasympathetic nervous system, making one’s pupils become smaller.  Oils like lemon, rosemary and pin will activate sympathetic nerves making the pupils larger.

All the suggested Essential Oils can be found at: www.harvestedhealth.mynsp.com

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RECOMMENDED SUPPLEMENTS TO SUPPORT THE NERVOUS SYSTEM:

NERVOUS SYSTEM PACK( 30 day):

Benefits:
Feeds and soothes the nervous system.
Builds the body’s ability to adapt to stress.
Helps calm nerves and supports restful sleep.
How It Works:

Stress-J contains a powerful blend of four calmative herbs known to help support proper nervous system function. It promotes relaxation and well-being.
AdaptaMax provides adaptogenic herbs that help the body combat stress and adapt to stressful situations, including stress on the immune system, fatigue and stress-related aging. Nerve Eight helps support proper nervous system function, reduce cellular stress, promote sleep and provide digestive support. Nutri-Calm provides B-complex vitamins, antioxidants and other essential nutrients that support and calm the nervous system and encourage restful sleep.

Ingredients:

Each packet contains 2 Stress-J capsules, 2 AdaptaMax capsules, 1 Nerve Eight capsule and 1 Nutri-Calm tablet.

Recommended Use:

Take the contents of one packet in the morning with breakfast, and one packet in the evening with a meal. Follow this pattern for 30 days.

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NUTRI-CALM:

Benefits:
Supports the nervous system
A natural formulation designed to maintain a sense of calm and peace of mind
May be used for occasional stress
How It Works:
Nutri-Calm is a unique formulation, containing C and B-Complex vitamins along with natural extracts, designed to maintain a sense of calm and peace of mind.
Ingredients:
Provides vitamin C, thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin, B6, folic acid, B12, biotin and pantothenic acid, plus schizandra fruit, choline, inositol, bee pollen, PABA, lemon bioflavonoids, valerian root extract, passionflower flowers extract and hops flowers extract.

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BRAIN PROTEX:

Benefits:
May help block the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, helping to prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter.
Supports circulation throughout the body as well as to and within the brain.
Protects capillaries and strengthens the blood–brain barrier.
Helps support and protect proper brain function.
Neutralizes free radicals.
How It Works:

This formula is designed to give the brain protection against free radical damage. It is especially helpful for those who desire extra support for brain health, nerve function and alertness.
Brain-Protex combines protective herbs, antioxidants and phospholipids that favorably impact age-related memory loss, boost mental acuity and curb free radical damage to the brain. Huperzine A is a substance that occurs naturally in Chinese club moss, a plant used in traditional Chinese medicine. It may help prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, which seems to be an indicator of overall memory function. Ginkgo supports cerebral circulation, which may promote proper concentration, memory and alertness. Alpha lipoic acid may also play a role in long-term memory. This formula also contains the powerful antioxidant lycopene.

Ingredients:
Soybean lecithin complex (phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylinositol), ginkgo leaves, lycopene, alpha lipoic acid and Chinese club moss whole plant extract.

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STRESS RELIEF TCM:

Benefits:
Nourishes the nervous system.
May optimize gastric function.
Supports circulatory health.
How It Works:
Chinese Stress Relief TCM Concentrate contains the same combination of 14 herbs found in Chinese Stress Relief but in a highly concentrated blend. These herbs and natural substances are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to support emotional balance and calm a stressed fire constitution. The Chinese call this formula an shen, which can be translated to mean “to pacify the spirit.” These herbs may help to nourish the nervous system and subsequently help improve gastric function and strengthen the urinary system. The key ingredients are oyster shell, haliotis shell and fushen. In Chinese medicine, oyster shell is considered to be calming and is used to relieve anxiety. Haliotis has properties similar to oyster shell. Oyster shell and haliotis are principally made of calcium carbonate, which may support gastric and circulatory health. Fushen is used in Chinese modalities as a stabilizingherb for restlessness and to relieve anger.
Ingredients:
Concentrated extract of oyster shell, albizzia bark, polygonatum rhizome, haliotis shell, fushen sclerotium with root, acorus rhizome, curcuma root tuber, ginseng root, jujuba seed, polygala root, coptis rhizome, cinnamon twig, ginger rhizome and licorice root.

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DHA:

Benefits:
Supports healthy brain development and function.
Provides circulatory system support.
How It Works:
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a fatty acid that is absorbed into the fatty perimeter of cells. There it exerts its biochemical properties. DHA is highly concentrated in the brain and retinal neural tissues. It is required for brain development and important in maintaining and protecting the neural tissues.
Ingredients:
250 mg docosahexaenoic acid, 50 mg eicosapentaenoic acid and natural lemon oil.

Thank you for liking, sharing and following my posts…. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment you can do that by going to http://www.mkt.com/harvested-health-llc and click on the desired service.  I’d be honored to take this healthy journey together!

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SUPER OMEGA-3 EPA:

Benefits:
Promotes brain health
Encourages healthy circulatory function
380 EPA / 190mg DHA per capsule
Supports the cardiovascular system
How It Works:
Omega-3 fatty acids are one of four basic fats that the body derives from foods. While many of the other fats are harmful, omega-3s benefit the body and are especially good for the heart. Super Omega-3 EPA is a source of two fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Super Omega-3 EPA softgels contain approximately 1,000 mg fish oil, with a ratio of 33:16 EPA to DHA (380 mg EPA, 190 mg DHA) per softgel. It also contains lemon to significantly reduce the aftertaste from fish oil and to reduce gas. (Contains fish such as anchovy, sardine and mackerel.)
Ingredients:
Eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid.

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Healthfully yours,

Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.

Harvested Health LLC

www.jodibarnett758.com

 


Why Is The Digestive System So Crucial?

I work with lots of clients who come to me with a variety of symptoms and  with almost all of them I recommend digestive system support and they are confused..

Getting folks to realize the road to good health is paved with good intestines… is tricky business.  There are more organs in your digestive system than in any other system in the body.  Up to two-thirds of all your body parts are used just for digesting. You also use up to two-thirds of your daily energy just to complete the process of digesting.  The two things the body expends the MOST energy on is “digesting” and “elimination”.

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The digestive system is complex and intricate, it plays a major role in the health and well being of the body.  It provides the means by which the body transforms the food we eat into energy to feed the “machine”.  It consists of:

  • mouth
  • esophagus
  • stomach
  • small intestine
  • liver
  • pancreas
  • gallbladder

The first stop is what happens in the mouth. When we chew the food the body produces saliva, which comes complete with an enzyme called ptyalin (amylase).  This enzyme helps to start dissolving food making it easier to swallow. Once the food is then swallowed, it travels down the esophagus to the stomach.  The stomach then works like a washing machine churning the food into a pasted referred to as “chyme”.

The stomach uses hydrochloric acid (HCL) which the Adrenal glands contribute to encouraging the stomach to produce, and the enzyme pepsin to begin breaking down proteins.  When we eat something with sugar or drink water, those are absorbed directly into the blood stream while in the stomach.  The food that is not absorbed moves on down the line to the pyloric sphincter which is at the very end of the stomach.  this sphincter serves as the gateway to the small intestine.  When the food eaten has been broken down well enough, it is released into the small intestine, which is made up of three parts:

  • duodenum,
  • jejunum
  • ileum

The small intestine is where the MAJOR digestion and ABSORPTION of nutrients takes place.  These nutrients are then absorbed into the blood stream and some are transported to the liver.

The average peep, eats from 40-50 tons of food in their lifetime… Did you know it takes your mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, gallbladder, pancreas and liver JUST to digest a glass of milk?

Other organs that play a major role in digestion include:

  • pancreas
  • gallbladder
  • liver

The pancreas is a gland located behind the stomach and it manufactures various enzymes and hormones: amylase for breaking down starches, and insulin and glucagon for blood sugar regulation.  These are pumped directly into the duodenum.  A duct also connects the duodenum to our gallbladder.  This pear shaped sac squeezers out bile, which bile is basically our body’s version of a detergent agent that contains acids that dissolves fats.

Our liver is the largest organ in the body, and the body’s main chemical factory.  It performs more than 500 different functions.  Besides producing bile, the liver:

  1. processes nutrients
  2. converts dietary proteins into new protein needs for the blood system
  3. stores fats, carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins
  4. releases proteins, carbohydrates & vitamins as needed
  5. absorbs poisons and toxic substances before neutralizing them

Once the food makes it past the small intestine, any remaining matter is then passed into the cecum, which is the beginning of the large intestine, or colon.  It is in the large intestine that fecal matter is formed.  Water is reabsorbed, B-vitamins are absorbed, and the matter itself is moved along through the rest of the colon.  The large intestine ends at the rectum and anus.

The length of the digestive tract is some 30 feet.  There is about 25 feet of small intestines and about 5 feet of large intestine.

There is a major purpose for the digestive system and it revolves around “CHANGE”.  The digestive system changes carbohydrates into simple carbohydrates or sugars.  It changes proteins into smaller molecules called amino acids which are building blocks for our body.  It changes fats into fatty acids/glycerin.  Whole foods are changed into usable forms called nutrients, which are directly absorbed into our blood stream.  It is often said, “You are what you eat,” but I say “You are what you are able to absorb!”

DID YOU KNOW?  

  1. The liver can function even if as much as 90% of it is removed
  2. after you eat, it usually takes 24 hours in healthy adults to complete the  process of digestion

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WHAT ARE SOME PRIMARY PROBLEMS and INADEQUACIES  WITH THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM?

#1. TRANSIT TIME:

One of the most common issues associated with the digestive system is transit time.  Transit time is a measure used to denote how long it takes for food to be broken down and roll through the 30 foot system from end to end.  Normally, it is about 24 hours, it takes around 3-6 hours for a meal just to be converted to nutrients.  Problems occur when transit time is either too slow or too fast.

Muscles all along the digestive tract contract in an action called peristalsis which is what propels the food through the process.  These propulsive waves also force waste to move into the rectum for elimination.  This should happen from 3-4 times a day…. (HOW MANY TIMES ARE YOUR BOWELS MOVING?)…I always say “think babies and puppies”. Typically they have to eliminate shortly after eating.  Usually once most of us hit our late teens and I’m seeing this much sooner now in my practice, that we no longer eliminate like babies/puppies… Folks are lucky if they have a bowel movement once a day.  So now think about the fact that the digestive system can only process 3-4 meals a day!  So when you eat the next meal the very 1st one should be ready for exit.

I frequently tell my patients that if they are only having one bowel movement a day they ARE constipated.  I hear over and over again.. but one bowel movement a day is what is “Normal” for me… But this is NOT the case if you have more than one meal a day!  Folks, our current health system deals mostly with drugs & surgery.  They tend to prescribe laxatives that can be habit forming and fibers that contain food dyes known to be carcinogens.  If we have digestive issues, it is also common to use antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, antacids, steroids, and/or intestinal removal.  What we really need is a better understanding of how the digestive system functions, and how We can care for it naturally.

TEST YOUR TRANSIT TIME: drink just beet juice or liquid chlorophyll. after you drink it, it should take about 24 hrs. to see red coloring in your stool.  If your red transit time is too fast like 12 hours, you are eliminating too fast and not absorbing all your nutrients  if it is too slow, say 48 hours, your constipated and leading to toxicity.

#2. INADEQUATE ENZYMES

Food has to be properly digested to allow absorption.  This only happens with the help of enzymes.  without digestive enzymes, which speed up the digestive process food would take the same amount of time to digest as it does when rotting in warm open air.  By design, we do have sufficient enzymes to ensure digestion. but what is not generally known is that today our enzymes have to combat shelf-life food.  Modern foods did not exist when our Creator originally figured out our lifetime supply of enzymes.

Foods today are processed, boxed, canned refined, heat treated, pasteurized, radiated, microwaved, and packaged.  Our enzymes were designed for food that is fresh, partially digested by nature, and alive.  That does not describe shelf-life foods.  Preservatives, chemicals, additives, and heat also destroy any additional natural enzymes present within food, not to mention the natural enzymes we were born with.

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DID YOU KNOW?

  • The lining of the stomach has 35 million tiny glands that pour out two to three quarts of gastric juice daily?  When food is introduced the juice flows faster.

Enzymes are also needed for detoxification. They turn fat-soluble materials and waste into water for easier elimination.  We see that fewer enzymes equals more toxicity.  Enzymes help ensure the removal of harmful allergens, pollution, heavy metals and toxins from the body.  Enzymes also maintain a normal pH level in the digestive system, which is critical in reducing inflammation.

 

#3. LACKING SYSTEM PROBIOTICS

We are hearing more and more about the need for probiotics. They are similar to enzymes, our body produces and needs friendly bacteria. They participate in digestion and absorption. They stand guard to also do battle in our defense against harmful organisms from making our digestive system their home.  Probiotics even help supplement our diet by manufacturing vitamins and providing immunity.

 

Probiotics are found in both the small and large intestines.  But the colon contains the majority of these friendly buggers.  A normal peep should have about 1000 trillion of these good buggers in the intestine.  They can even account for 10% of total body weight!  The most familiar strains are:

  • lactobacillus acidophilus
  • bifidobacterium longum (acidophilus & bifidophilus)

They have some specific jobs to perform and those would be:

  1. producing additional enzymes
  2. producing antibiotic substances to fight bacteria bad guys
  3. forming B-vitamins
  4. reducing liver stress
  5. preventing constipation
  6. boosting immune system

What is happening is many are functioning with a very reduced population of beneficial probiotic colonies in their gut due to the over use of antibiotics (which our commercial meats are loaded with), chemical exposure, and overly processed fast/boxed/microwaved foods.  Which is why EVERYONE would benefit by supplementing daily with probiotics.

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#4

HIATAL HERNIA

Many are misdiagnosed with digestive symptoms with something called a hiatus.  The diaphragm, which is our breathing muscle separates the chest from our abdomen, contains an opening called the hiatus.  This is where the esophagus passes through to reach the stomach.  Occasionally part of the stomach protrudes through the hiatus, creating a hernia that permits the black-flow of acid or chyme up in to the esophagus, or we call it acid reflux disease.  Doctors can confuse heart disease or ulcers with a hiatus hernia because the symptoms are very similar.  Sometimes they simply trat the issue with antacids.  A hiatus hernia can cause great pain, difficult breathing, heartburn, etc.

#5. HYDROCHOLORIC ACID (HCL) IMBALANCE

We have been fed that stomach acid is bad, if you take a look the antacid industry has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry.  Although antacids can be helpful, they are not the answer for what causes heartburn or indigestion in the first place.  Stomach acid, or hydrochloric acid, breaks down protein ad fights off microbes.  It stimulates the pancreas and small intestines to produce additional enzymes, as well as bile.  The truth is that treatment aimed at neutralizing stomach acid can actually make your digestive issues worse not better.  The other connecting factor is most are also dealing with adrenal fatigue issues too, and the adrenal glands also participate in sending proper signal to the stomach for proper HCL production.  So it’s usually a two-fold issue happening.  Which is why when someone is dealing with major stress issues, the digestion is affected.

DID YOU KNOW? The small intestine can be likened to a second brain.  It contains as many neurons as your spinal column, and 95% of your serotonin which is the brain’s mood regulating chemical is contained in your small intestines, elaborate network of nerves.  That’s why we feel strong emotions like fear, love and anticipation in the gut as well as our minds.  The intestines can also be affected in the same way that the brain is from lack of serotonin.  Inadequate serotonin in the bran can cause depression; in the gut, it can lead to irritable bowel syndrome.

Many are fearful when I recommend they need to take a HCL + pepsin supplement for reflux or bloating issues after they eat.  They are afraid it will contribute to more burning, Yet the stomach has a mucus lining which forms a barrier between the stomach wall and the acid produced.  This is natures’ ways of protecting the stomach from the strength of its contents.  The lining of the stomach sheds cells at the rate of half a million every minute  They are replaced so rapidly that the stomach has what amounts to a new lining every three days.

The question we should be asking… should we be trying to stop HCL production with antacids?  As we get older, (usually after age 40), we tend to make less HCL anyway.  Add to that a poor diet, overeating, and inhaling your food, and you may find you have digestive and immune issues.  Low levels of stomach acid can produce protein malnourishment.  This leads to acidic blood (a pH imbalance), setting the stage for toxins, illness, and disease.  It can also lead to mineral deficiencies.  As the blood becomes acidic, your blood will look for minerals anywhere in the body to counter the pH issues.  It will even steal the mineral calcium from the bones, which contributes to osteoporosis.  and when do most folks notice osteoporosis or osteopenia is an issue?…. over the age of 40!

 

Here is a basic equation for this type of digestive issues:  low stomach acid= acidic blood=low minerals.  Symptoms of this cycle looks like these symptoms:

  • bloating
  • flatulence
  • heart burn
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • acne
  • chronic candida
  • food allergies
  • immune problems

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WHAT DOES “NATURAL’ SUPPORT OF YOUR DIGESTIVE SYSTEM LOOK LIKE?

For optimum health, the digestive system requires:

  1. improved diet
  2. exercise
  3. plenty of clean water
  4. fiber
  5. detoxification
  6. and boosting the nutritional deficiencies with supplementation

DIET: this area is where most folks miss the mark in a major way.  Properly balancing what you are eating is important. It doesn’t mean you can’t ever eat out, or have a piece of cake etc. It means those choices should be occasional not habitual.  The body needs clean proteins, carbohydrates and fats.  so fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains ad seeds have to be included in the mix.

Proteins need to be lean, clean and high quality.  Carbohydrates are better when they are complex vs. simple.  Fats should be unsaturated and essential fatty acid choices.  Which fall into the Omega 3,6,9 categories.

  • flaxseed
  • fish oil
  • avocadoes
  • black currant oil
  • borage oil
  • greens
  • nuts seeds

All have Essential fatty acid elements.

We also have the most amazing tool to aid in digestion that is both powerful and inexpensive, that would be our TEETH… most folks fall into the WOLF my food category, they chew what they are eating maybe 5-10 times as virtually swallow the rest whole.  You want to concur over eating?  Take the time to chew 25 times before swallowing, I don’t expect you to physically count your chews, but use your tongue and feel what is in your mouth, if you cannot feel chunks, then swallow.  You will thank yourself with better digestion, and you will end up eating less.  It takes approx. 25 minutes for the Vagus nerve to send signal to the brain that you are full.  So the longer you take chewing and swallowing you will find you end up eating less.

 

EXERCISE:  This is a touchy subject for lots of folks.  Yet the truth of the matter is we spend more time sitting than any of us care to admit.  We sit while driving, while watching TV, while we are on our computers, Cell phones etc.  Exercise of ANY kind is beneficial to assisting the peristalsis and improving the muscular integrity of your abdomen.  The body is designed to move, we have lots of “hinged” body parts for that very reason.

WATER:  o avoid being constipated, we have to properly hydrated.  Many people believe they drink plenty of water throughout the day, but they ignore some elements they may be also doing that naturally dehydrates the body, like coffee, alcohol and carbonated drinks.  So for every cup of those you drink you need to add an additional cup of water to compensate.

FIBER: It is a proven fact with todays standard go to diet choices that people are not coming close to getting near enough fiber in their diet.  supplementing with fiber is highly recommended.  There are five kinds of fiber:

3 soluble fibers:

  1. pectin
  2. mucilage
  3. gum (not chewing gum by the way)

2 insoluble fibers:

  1. cellulose
  2. hemi cellulose

Introducing dietary fiber through supplementation is highly recommended but to add gradually and it’s important that you are drinking enough water at same time.

DID YOU KNOW?

The average person carries between 5 – 25 pounds of undigested fecal matter in their bowels at all times.  It contributes to the “pouch” look that most of us don’t want to have.

AND…

Heartburn is not the result of excessive stomach acid; it is the result of not enough!

BENEFITS OF ADDING FIBER:

  • causes us to feel full
  • decreases appetite
  • helps with weight-loss
  • eases/speeds bowel movements
  • reduces bad cholesterol
  • delays blood sugar absorption
  • grabs onto toxins
  • sweeps feces out of the body
  • lowers chance of colon cancer and hemorrhoids.

DETOXIFICATION:

The cleansing or purging of the intestines or detoxification actually dates back to Egypt.  The Greeks also used it, as did the American Indians.  Detoxification has been around for ages.  But never has it become more important in our history than it is right now./  Foods have become denatures, devoid of enzymes, overly sugared, and just plain poisoned.  As food and water are steadily more toxic, our digestive systems are becoming  more overloaded.  The need for detoxification of the digestive system is paramount.  The number one reason today for most doctor visits is for digestive issues.

PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS:  In my practice I have like any practitioner my “favorite” go to products.  I’ve listed links to those products below.

Digestive System Pack (30 day supply):

Benefits:
Supports healthy digestion by breaking down all types of food.
May promote immune system health.
Supplies friendly bacteria to help rebalance the population of flora in the gut.
Aids in the elimination of toxins.
How It Works:
Proactazyme facilitates digestion and improves nutrient absorption. Anti-Gas TCM supports both the digestive and detoxifying functions of the body and supports the natural elimination of excess moisture and toxins. Bacillus Coagulans is a self-stable probiotic that is blended with prebiotics conducive to the growth of friendly bacteria.
Ingredients:
Each AM packet contains 3 Proactazyme capsules. Each PM packet contains 1 Anti-Gas TCM and 2 Bacillus Coagulans capsules.
Recommended Use:
Take the contents of one AM packet throughout the day before meals (one capsule before each meal). Take the contents of the evening packet with your evening meal. Follow this pattern for 30 days.

FOOD ENZYMES:   (these are on special the rest of this week)

Benefits:
Supplements the body’s production of important enzymes.
Provides a blend of enzymes to digest proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
Provides hydrochloric acid and bile salts to help digest proteins and fats.
Helps relieve occasional indigestion.
How It Works:
Enzymes break down food into compounds for absorption into the bloodstream. This combination of enzymes offers more complete digestive support when taken with meals. This formula includes pepsin, which is used for pre-digesting proteins in the stomach. Betaine HCl helps create an acidic environment to facilitate the activity of pepsin. After food reaches the small intestine, the enzyme pancreatin further digests protein, carbohydrates and fats in the small intestine. Pancreatin also helps to support the pancreas. Alpha amylase digests starches. Bile salt makes fats soluble, preparing them for further digestion by lipase. The enzymes bromelain and papain aid in the digestion of proteins. One capsule will help you digest a minimum of 30 grams of protein, 30 grams of carbohydrates and 20 grams of fats.
Ingredients:
Betaine HCl, bile salt, bromelain, lipase, alpha amylase, pancreatin, papain and pepsin.

NATURES THREE:

Benefits:
Provides intestinal systems support.
Provides naturally occurring fiber from psyllium hulls.
Promotes regularity in maintaining healthy bowel movements.
Relieves occasional constipation.
How It Works:
There are two basic types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber, found in foods such as fruits, seeds, brown rice, barley and oats works mainly by helping to produce a softer stool. It also chemically prevents or reduces the absorption of certain substances into the bloodstream. Insoluble fiber, found in whole grains, vegetables, legumes and the outside of seeds, works like a sponge, absorbing many times its weight in water and swelling up inside the intestines. The result is elimination that is more efficient.
Nature’s Three provides: Psyllium which has the highest level of soluble fiber known—more than eight times that of oat bran. Oat fiber –a wholesome source of water-soluble fiber. Apple fiber – provides a host of health benefits. Each 10-calorie serving provides 2 g of dietary fiber.

Ingredients:
Psyllium seed hulls, apple fruit fiber and oat inner husk bran.

CLEAN START DETOXIFYING MILD PROGRAM (14 DAY):

Benefits:
Supports the natural, everyday cleansing of waste from the body.
Gently moves intestinal contents through the digestive system.
May help to maintain natural energy levels.
Promotes a feeling of well-being.
How It Works:
Environmental pollutants can build up in the body, slowing natural cleansing and detoxifying processes. CleanStart® is our most popular cleanse to help support the primary detoxifying processes of the body. This flagship product is available in a mild formula for those seeking complete yet gentle cleansing support. CleanStart Mild contains Bacillus coagulans to support the friendly bacteria in the intestinal tract. Use CleanStart Mild to help “jump start” your cleansing and detoxifying program. After cleansing, try Detox Basics™ daily detoxifying program for ongoing detoxification support.
Ingredients:
Each Cleansing Drink Mix packet contains psyllium hulls, vegetable fiber, natural wild berry flavor, potassium citrate, aloe vera whole leaf, malic acid, carotene extract, stevia leaf extract, sodium copper chlorophyllin, bentonite. Each capsule pack contains 3 capsules of Gentle Move® and 1 capsule of Enviro-Detox™.
Recommended Use:
Take contents of one cleansing drink mix packet 15-30 minutes before breakfast and 15-30 minutes before dinner. Take contents of capsule packet with breakfast and dinner (twice daily).

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If you’d like a personalized nutritional program put together for you and your health needs.  You can go to http://www.jodibarnett758.com and click on the services tab, when you click on a specific service it will take you to the shopping cart to pay for your services and we can get you on my appointment schedule.   You can also click on the “products” tab and it will take you to over 500 + products that as a practitioner I use and recommend in my practice.

Thank you for taking the time to read, like and share my posts.

Healthfully yours,

Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.

Harvested Health LLC

 

 



Because Breathing is NOT optional!

Help navigating this “cold/flu” season, Stay Healthy my friends

JodiBarnett758

During cold/flu and pneumonia season, many people realize how important the element of being able to take a breath can be.  You can live a few days without water & weeks without food, but you can only go a few minutes without air.  So doing all that you can to care for the health of the respiratory system just makes sense.

DID YOU KNOW:

  • the lungs possess almost 1,500 miles of airways and over 300 million alveoli
  • Aveoli
  • You will take probably 20,000 breaths & breathe about 35 lbs. of air each day.
  • Plants are our co-companions in breathing.  “We” breathe in air, our body uses the oxygen and releases carbon dioxide.  “Plants” take in the carbon dioxide & release oxygen.  Talk about team work!!!

Sinus

The actual anatomy of the respiratory tract includes the upper respiratory which include the nasal passages, sinues, pharynx & larynx, while the lower respiratory includes the…

View original post 1,735 more words


The Most Abundant Mineral In the Body… CALCIUM

Calcium is another mineral that is included in the Basic Metabolic panel blood test.  It is the most abundant mineral in the body, An average healthy male has 2.5 – 3 pounds of calcium, while an average healthy female has about 2 pounds.  Yet 99 percent of the body’s calcium supple is in the bones and teeth, which leaves about 1 percent in the cells and body fluids.  Just about everyone understands that calcium is essential for strong teeth and bones.  However, Calcium is “essential” for proper nerve impulse transmission, enzyme function, blood clotting and energy production.  The level of calcium in the body is regulated by what I refer to as a “phone type loop” a pathway that controls a certain physiological function – involving the parathyroid hormone (PTH), vitamin D, and calcitonin.  The amount of magnesium and phosphorus in the body also affects our calcium levels.

We should be getting calcium intake through the foods we are eating, the majority of people rely on the “dairy” category for their calcium ratio’s to be met.

  • milk
  • cheese
  • yogurt
  • Keifer

Another good source is from fish that have bones like salmon and sardines; and from the plant family sesame seeds and leafy green veggies have calcium too.  Understand, as we age, we need to maintain a balance and adequate intake of the mineral since both high and low levels can increase the chances of developing bone deterioration, like osteoporosis. Low calcium levels can affect the heart, kidneys, nerves and of course our teeth.  Taking proper care of your teeth is IMPORTANT, you cannot eat if you cannot chew your food.

However, another issue is referred to as “hypercalcemia” which means high calcium; which puts your kidneys at risk.

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A blood calcium test (also referred to as an ionized calcium test) indicates the amount of calcium in the BLOOD not the BONES.  This amount is reflected in the results of a total calcium test, which measures both the “free” (meaning circulating) and the “bound” forms of calcium in the blood.  The reference ranges for blood calcium levels, which are measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg.dL), are below.

Results that fall within the normal range generally mean that calcium is being properly metabolized, so there is NO specific target range for this one.

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REFERENCE RANGES FOR CALCIUM

Calcium (mg/dL)                                           Category

Greater than 12                                            Very high (moderate to severe hypercalcemia)

10.2 to 12                                                       High (mild hypercalcemia)

8.6 to 10.2                                                     Normal

less than 8.6                                                Low (Hypocalcemia)

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So if for instance, a person is exhibiting classic symptoms of kidney stones, a urine calcium test may also be ordered.  Men should produce less than 300 mg. of urine calcium per day, and ladies, less than 250 mg per day.  Amounts greater than 300 mg. per day may indicate that too much calcium is being consumed or, alternatively, being pulled from the bones.  High urine calcium levels may also indicate that too much calcium is being absorbed from the intestine, which occurs in certain diseases.  Leaking, or the loss of calcium due to having compromised kidney function, may also be one of the contributing factors.  In general, 100-300 mg. per day can be considered normal, depending on the person.

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WHY WOULD SOMEONES CALCIUM LEVELS BE TOO HIGH?

The medical term used to describe too much calcium in the blood is hypercalcemia, a condition that affects less than 1 percent of the population.  In most cases, hypercalcemia is caused by parathyroid disease or hyperparathyroidism, which is when an over production of parathyroid hormone is being released by the glands.  These glands, there are 4 lobes that sit on each side of your thyroid.  The number one cause of this issue ; the growth of benign tumors in the parathyroid glands, which are responsible for controlling the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood.

 

Kidney disease can also cause the parathyroid glands to become overactive, as it disturbs blood calcium and phosphorus levels and, therefore, disrupts that telephone call, (when the body NEEDS something, it makes a phone call in a variety of ways to ask for what it needs and where it needs it.)

Other contributing imbalances would be:

  • adrenal gland issues
  • advanced liver disease
  • certain cancers, including breast, lung, leukemia and prostate with bone metastasis
  • dehydration
  • diet high in calcium (more than 2,000 mg. per day)
  •  a hereditary condition that hinders the body’s ability to regulate calcium as it should
  • high levels of vitamin A and or vitamin D
  • hyperthyroidism
  • kidney disease or failure
  • medications, like calcium containing antacids, lithium and thiazide diuretics
  • prolonged immobilization
  • tuberculosis

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Hypercalcemia can be detected and, in most cases, effectively treated, long-term issues are unlikely.  But there are several health issues that may be connected to hypercalcemia. like heart arrhythmias which is having an irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, intestinal issues like peptic ulcer issues, kidney stones, thyroid disease, vitamin D toxicity, and on some occasions, vitamin A toxicity.  You may also have low iron levels, magnesium, vitamin K and/or zinc, which share absorption sites with calcium in your intestines and, therefore, do not absorb as easily when calcium intake is too high.

High calcium levels are also associated with changes in the nervous system, that contributes to confusion and dementia.  Although, osteoporosis which is when the bones begin to thin, is more commonly linked to low calcium, it is possible to develop this condition as well as other bone diseases, as a result of having too much calcium over an extended period of time.

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ARE THERE SYMPTOMS YOU WOULD HAVE WITH HIGH CALCIUM?

Mild hypercalcemia usually doesn’t have symptoms, but moderate or severe cases can cause abdominal pain, constipation, depression, fatigue, headaches, nausea and in some vomiting.  Loss of appetite may also be an issues, while thirst and the urge to urinate increases quite a bit as well.

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SUPPLEMENTS THAT MAY HELP WITH CONDITIONS RELATED TO HAVING HIGH CALCIUM

Green tea extract: is reported to decrease kidney stone formation, which may be due to high calcium levels, as well as improve bone density in older women.

 

Magnesium: I recommend Magnesium aspartate, taurate, glycinate or amino acid chelate.  These support bone building and balance calcium intake.  The ratio of calcium to magnesium intake should be 2 :1

Magnesium has been reported to improve blood vessel function and insulin resistance, in addition to decreasing LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglycerides.  Also essential for phase-I liver detoxification.

 

Eating foods like artichokes, asparagus, celery, melons, and parsley, have detoxifying properties and can help with cleansing your kidneys.

Drink more water, it improves your kidneys ability to filter

Incorporate more low calcium foods into your diet. like : apples, asparagus, beets, cantaloupe, chicken, cottage cheese, eggplant, grapes, pineapple, pinto beans, strawberries and tomatoes.

Limit your use of painkillers.  Like ibuprofen and naproxen sodium which can contribute to kidney failure with over use.

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WHAT ABOUT LOW CALCIUM ISSUES?

Low blood calcium has a number of causes, but the most common is hypoalbuminemia, which is a protein in your blood that acts as a carrier for calcium, so when levels are low, blood calcium also will be.  This is usually seen in someone who has been in the hospital recovering from an acute injury, illness or malnutrition.

Some other causes:

  • not gonna sugar coat it, but “age”
  • diet low in fat and high in fiber
  • excessive alcohol or caffeine use
  • high intake of phosphorus, which is going to be in carbonated drinks,  lunch meats, sea foods, cheeses, milk, whole grain breads and lots of processed snack foods.
  • under active parathyroid glands
  • intestinal malabsorption issues, i.e. Celiac’s disease
  • kidney disease or kidney failure
  • low intake of magnesium, protein and/or vitamin D
  • inflammation of pancreas
  • pregnancy

 

MEDICATIONS & LOW CALCIUM ISSUES:

Sometimes, low blood calcium is NOT caused by diet or health issues, but by prescription medications.  The following drugs may affect the level of calcium in your body that can lead to low calcium issues.

  • aluminum and magnesium antacids
  • antacids or anti ulcer drugs like proton-pump inhibitors called Prilosec, and histamine receptor blockers like Tagamet
  • Antibiotics, including aminoglycosides, fluoroquinolones, tetracycline, and isoniazid.
  • anticonvulsants like Tegretol, Dilantin, and Solfoton
  • Bile acid sequestrants, like Questran, which are used to lower cholesterol
  • Bisphosphonates, like Fosomax
  • Colchicine, a gout medication
  • Corticosteroids
  • Digoxin, which treats congestive heart failure
  • Diuretics like Lasix and potassium sparing Triamterene, or Dyazide and Maxide
  • EDTA, chelating agent
  • Levothyroxine, a hormone replacement to treat a underactive thyroid
  • Mineral oil
  • Salicylates

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ARE THERE SYMPTOMS YOU WOULD RECOGNIZE IF YOU HAD LOW CALCIUM ISSUES?

In early stages there typically aren’t any symptoms that would get your attention.  As the condition worsens, some experience abdominal discomfort, anxiety, tingling in their fingers, muscle cramps or spasm.  Irritability, lethargy, and even frequent bone fractures.  a symptom of osteoporosis.

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SUPPLEMENTS THAT MAY BE HELPFUL FOR LOW CALCIUM

Calcium: in a highly absorbable form like aspartate, or hydroxyapatite.  Citrate is NOT my favorite form in line with mineral co-factoring, as if any inflammation or irritation is already happening citrate can add to the irritation.

Magnesium: aspartate, taurate, glycinate, or amino acid chelate.  Supports bone building and balances calcium intake.  The ratio of calcium to magnesium should be 2:1.

Vitamin D3: is needed for proper calcium absorption. I want to add that taking a ridiculously high “I.U.” (international unit), of Vitamin D can increase the risk of hardened arteries, and high blood calcium levels. 4,000 I.U. would be a safe limit, and I always recommend taking in smaller I.U. capsules multiple times a day for better metabolism vs. one over the top large dose at one sitting.

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SOMETHING TO CONSIDER

So many people think no further than “dairy” for calcium intake.  I always try to encourage my peeps to think outside the box and broaden their horizons… Kale offers (100 mg. per raw serving,) Bok choy (74 mg. per raw serving,) and broccoli (21 mg. per raw serving,) these are all great choices of adding more calcium into the diet.

Dr. Norman Walker in “Fresh Vegetables & Fruit Juices”  states  “Juicing raw carrot ,beet, and cucumber juice is a benefit for gallstones, kidney stones and gravel in the gall bladder and kidneys are the natural result of the inability of the body functions to eliminate from the system the inorganic calcium deposits formed after eating concentrated starches and sugars.”  He goes on to say ” Vital organic calcium is needed by the entire system, and such calcium, the only kind that IS soluble in water, can be obtained ONLY from fruits and vegetables, and their juices when these are raw and fresh.  As such, it passes through the liver and is completely assimilated in the process of gland functions and cell and tissue building.” Later he also states that ” one pint of carrot juice, daily, has more constructive body value than 25 pounds of calcium tablets.”

 

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Ok, that covers Calcium, the next stop on the Basic Metabolic Panel will be Potassium.

 

Thanks to all of you who take the time to read, follow and share the topics I post about.  You are all helping me plant the seeds one post at a time towards helping people learn more about how to gain a deeper understanding of supporting their health by incorporating more natural applications through foods and high quality raw whole food supplements.

 

Healthfully yours,

Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.

Harvested Health LLC

http://www.jodibarnett758.com

 

References:

James B. LaValle, RPh, CCn “Cracking the Metabolic code”

Dr. Kurt W. Donsbach; “The Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research”

N.W. Walker D. Sc. ; “Raw Vegetable Juices, What’s Missing in Your Body?”

Henry G. Bieler, M.D. “Food is Your Best Medicine”

Featured Image: http://www.Organicfacts.net 


The Basic Metabolic Panel…Your Blood Lab Tests.

Most people typically go yearly to have a physical and also have routine blood labs drawn.  One of those routine test usually include “The basic metabolic panel (BMP), which tests for a variety of indicators of metabolic functioning, which includes glucose (blood sugar), electrolyte and fluid balance, and kidney function & operation.  Glucose, calcium, sodium, potassium, carbon dioxide, chloride, urea nitrogen, creatinine, and the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) are also included in the BMP, which is used to detect and diagnose issues like diabetes and kidney disease or malfunction.

If you are on regular medications, your Doctor may also run this panel to make sure the medication is working properly or if it’s tossing other lab values out of balance.  Example would be, diuretics used to treat someone with high blood pressure may end up throwing off the electrolyte balance and the kidneys, so a BMP is usually recommended for someone taking these prescriptions.

One of the issues with BMP tests is that “trending” lab values – numbers that are considered to fall within the normal range but are headed in the wrong directions – are rarely discussed with the patients.  In other words, “low normal” and “high normal” lab values are not typically treated as a concern.  Instead, the usual approach would be to “watch” and “wait” for a trending lab to walk into the “abnormal” zone.  By this time, a disease or other medical issue has usually had time to develop.

A Kaiser Permanente Study that tracked over 46,000 folks for more than a decade, demonstrated the limitations of using this approach.  According to the study, for every one-point rise in fasting blood sugar over 84 mg/dL, a persons risk of diabetes increases by approximately 6 percent!  This may seem like a minor “slight” increase, however, by the time blood glucose levels reach 90-94 mg/dL, the risk of developing actual diabetes has now increased by 49 percent!  If the blood glucose levels reach the highest normal range of 95-99 mg/dL, the risk is more than doubled for becoming diabetic.

When I discuss this with my patient’s many are shocked because the “normal” range for fasting blood glucose levels is 65-99 mg/dL, which means that their lab values which may actually warrant further considerations are treated as just fine.  More alarming is the fact that when fasting blood sugar reaches a level of 90 mg/dL – a value technically within the normal range – vascular and kidney damage can begin to jump on the scene.  For the most part, doctors do not inform patients about concerns regarding their blood glucose until their level reaches 100 mg/dL, when according to the Kaiser Study – their diabetes risk has already climbed to a staggering 84 percent!  These statistics are a testament to the critical importance of blood tests and why you should understand more about what your lab work is  indicating.  Monitoring and managing trends is just as important as treating abnormal blood values.  In the case of BMP tests, reversing a trend with diet, lifestyle changes and even supplements can help prevent the development of diabetes as well as kidney disease and other medical conditions.

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LETS TALK MORE ABOUT GLUCOSE

Glucose is a type of sugar that acts as your body’s chief source of energy.  During digestion, the foods rich in carbohydrates which  are (starches and sugars) are broken down into 3 simple sugars ” fructose, galactose, and glucose”.  Once they enter the bloodstream, glucose is transported to each of your cells.  In response to the rise in glucose in your body, the pancreas then releases insulin, which is a hormone that attaches to the cell membrane to allow glucose to be taken out of the blood and then carried to the cells, where it is supposed to be used for energy production, (ATP).

However, excessive carbohydrate and sugar intake in ones diet can disrupt normal glucose metabolism, which trigger blood sugar imbalances.  Excessive insulin release and insulin resistance can cause poor  blood sugar control, leading to chronic high blood sugar, or what is referred to as hyperglycemia.

 

Hypoglycemia occurs because too much insulin is release, which may be due to defective insulin receptors or a deficiency of one or more of the trace minerals needed for blood glucose regulation which would include B vitamins, chromium, magnesium vanadium, as zinc.  Low vitamin D can also be a cause, since the vitamin plays a role in insulin production and sensitivity.  when there is a disproportionate amount of insulin in the blood,  this causes glucose to be carried out of the bloodstream and into the cells, which results in a drop in blood sugar.  What happens next is usually symptoms of feeling anxious, agitated, some experience feeling dizzy, some people break out in a sweat or feel overall weak.

 

Besides nutritional deficiencies and defective insulin receptors, blood sugar imbalance can also be related to environmental toxins,  low thyroid hormones, low sex hormones, as well as being subjected to chronic stress.  Both high and low blood glucose are associated with diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, and other medical issues.  Poorly controlled blood sugar is directly linked to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s’ disease and autoimmune issues.

Typically if a routine lab test indicates that your blood glucose level is abnormal, then your doctor will more than likely order a fasting blood sugar test, which requires you to abstain from food and drink other that water for about 8 hours.  This test, which is typically used to check for diabetes, can provide a better picture of your glucose level, since it is unaffected by food and drink.  A hemoglobin A1c test, which reflects average blood sugar over the past two or three months may also be recommended.  Specifically, the test will measure the amount of damage done to red blood cells (RBC’s), which occurs when glucose molecules become attached to hemoglobin which is a protein found in RBC.  Other options are the two-hour postprandial (after eating) blood sugar test and the oral glucose tolerance test, which is usually ordered for pregnant women that they suspect may have gestational (pregnancy-induced) diabetes.

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REFERENCE RANGES FOR BLOOD GLUCOSE

Fasting Blood Glucose (mg/dL)                                     Category

Higher than 125                                                              Diabetes

100-125                                                                             Pre-diabetes (impaired fasting glucose)

65-99                                                                                 Normal

lower than 65                                                                  Low (hypoglycemic)

TARGET RANGE: 70-84 mg/dL

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If you have one or more risk factors it’s actually important that you get in a routine of monitoring your insulin levels.  If you have one or more risk factors for type 2 diabetes like insulin resistance, this is a condition where the hormone insulin does not bind to cells and activate the insulin receptors, so blood sugar is now lowered by producing insulin.  I can say that in most cases insulin resistance more times than not preceded type 2 diabetes and last for at least a decade before being diagnosed as diabetic.  This is a destructive process that connects to a host of medical issues, like Alzheimer’s, breast cancer, hypertension, kidney disease and being over-weight.  Insulin resistance is a defining characteristic of metabolic syndrome, which increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, ( yes you can get fatty liver disease even if you do not drink alcohol on a regular basis).

One way you can monitor for this is a 2 hr. postprandial blood test, in which glucose and insulin levels are measured 2 hours after eating a meal which contains 75 grams of carbohydrates, like a bagel with jelly.  The results of this test indicate the efficiency with which the body processes glucose and secretes insulin.  Reference ranges for insulin levels are below:

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REFERENCE RANGES FOR INSULIN

Insulin (mg/dL)                                                        Category

50 or above                                                                High alert

25-49                                                                            High, trending towards insulin resistance

17-25                                                                            Acceptable

TARGET RANGE: 5-17 mg/dL, with blood glucose less than 90 mg.dL

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The target range indicates the relationship between insulin and blood glucose levels, this is significant because if both blood glucose and insulin are high, you are at the peak of insulin resistance!  If blood glucose is high and insulin is very low (2 mg/dL, for example), your body is likely in the process of developing diabetes, even if your fasting blood glucose level is considered normal.  If your blood glucose level is somewhere between low and normal and your insulin level is high, you are in the process of becoming insulin resistant.

High insulin can be caused by different factors, like having a diet high in refined sugars and carbs, lack of exercise, being over-weight and genetics play a part too.  Fructose and galactose intolerance, which are hereditary issues, can also be at the root of high insulin, as can antibiotics, corticosteroids, and oral contraceptives and other medications that contribute.  If left untreated, type 2 diabetes is usually the end result.  Low insulin levels are also problematic and can be a signal of type 1 diabetes, hypo-pituitarism (having a underactive pituitary gland) or diseases of the pancreas.  An insulin level of 2 mg/dL or lower in combo with a very high blood glucose reading requires extensive testing.

While insulin is not included on the basic metabolic panel, testing for insulin resistance is crucial.   I am trying to focus on the causes, medical concerns, and recommended treatments for abnormal blood glucose levels, which will allow you to take appropriate action based on the outcome of YOUR lab test.

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WHAT CAN CONTRIBUTE OR CAUSE HIGH BLOOD GLUCOSE?

When your body does not produce enough insulin OR cannot use insulin properly, the result ends up being high blood sugar.  This is a symptom of PRE-diabetes, which increases the risk of heart disease and other health issues, even though diabetes has not fully developed.  Some causes of high blood glucose include:

  • liver and pancreatic cancer
  • chronic stress
  • diet high in simple carbs and/or refined sugars
  • environment toxins
  • hormonal changes or imbalances (estrogen in ladies, testosterone in the gents)
  • under active or slow thyroid
  • insulin resistance
  • kidneys disease
  • medications including: birth control pills, corticosteroids, diuretics, epinephrine, estrogen, lithium, tricyclic antidepressants, and salicylates
  • nutritional deficiencies in B vitamins, chromium, magnesium, vanadium and/or zinc, which all help regulate blood glucose
  • physical trauma, such as injury or heart attack
  • weight gain which can lead to insulin resistance

Borderline high blood sugar shouldn’t be ignored, since insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are likely to happen.  So many of my patients when they are telling me their history say, “oh yeah my doctor said I was borderline diabetic”, like it’s no big deal…Let me restate “IT IS A BIG DEAL” unless you are willing to welcome the added health issue risks of… cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s, eye disorders, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, neuropathy (which is nerve damage that is painful), and possibility of stroke!

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CAN YOU TELL YOU BLOOD SUGAR IS HIGH BY HOW YOUR FEEL?

A blood test of course will confirm if your blood sugar levels are too high, but will there also be physical symptoms that may alert you that something isn’t as it should be?  Look for out of the ordinary for YOU:

  • fatigue
  • increased hunger,
  • excessive thirst,
  • frequent urination
  • slow healing of wounds

Type 2 Diabetes folks typically:

  • gain weight around the waist.  Belly fat leads to insulin resistance

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia):

  • anxiety
  •  blurred vision
  • confusion
  • trembling or shaking
  • emotional changes, irritable, weepy (typically in children)

Diabetics can also develop hypoglycemia in response to some types of stress and in severe circumstances, very high blood sugar can lead to ketoacidosis, or in some cases diabetic coma.  Some warning signs of this state include:

  • shortness of breath,
  • stomach pain, fruity smelling breath
  • vomiting
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EPIDEMIC: DIABETES

The number of people being diagnosed with diabetes in the United States is hitting staggering numbers, more than 11 million have been diagnosed and another 7 million live with it unknowingly.  (according to the National Diabetes information Clearinghouse)

One of the most common causes of kidney damage and failure is diabetes; dialysis clinics are popping up faster than Wal-marts in response to a growing number of diabetes patients with chronic kidney failure.

 

There ae two types of diabetes type 1 and type 2.  Type 1 diabetes, used to be known as juvenile diabetes, which is caused by a dysfunction of the immune system in which the body attacks the beta cells – which are the insulin producing cells of the pancreas.  When these cells are destroyed, the body can no longer produce insulin.  The disease, most often occurs in children, and can be triggered by a wide range of factors, including viruses, infections, vaccinations, and allergies to cow’s milk.  Until the development of injectable insulin, type 1 diabetes was usually fatal.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type.  95 percent of people with diabetes in the United States have type 2, which was once known as adult-onset diabetes.  This term is no longer applicable, since the obesity epidemic as caused many kids under the age of eighteen to develop this condition.  The precursor to type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance.  What happens is over time, the excessive release of insulin as the body attempts to manage blood sugar burns out the beta cells, destroying their ability to make insulin and control glucose levels.  Type 2 has fully developed when blood sugar levels can’t be lowered due to poor insulin release or utilization.  People who have type 2 tend to be overweight; in fact, the disease was first believed to be caused by poor diet and lifestyle, yet new research has shown that hormonal changes, chronic stress, environmental pollutants, and nutritional deficiencies especially magnesium  can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.

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NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCIES CAUSED BY BLOOD SUGAR LOWERING MEDICATIONS

DRUG                                          

Ace inhibitors ( captopril, enalapril, fosinapril, lisnopril, quinapril, Ramipril, trandoapril)

 NUTRIENT DEPLETION:  

Sodium & zinc

ASSOCIATED SYMPTOMS:

  • decreased immunity
  • slow wound healing
  • smell & taste disturbances
  • anorexia,
  • depression
  • night blindness,
  • joint pain
  • involuntary eye movements
  • changes to skin, nails & hair
  • women may experience menstrual irregularities

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DRUG:

Metformin

NUTRIENT DEPLETION:

CoQ10, folic acid and B12

ASSOCIATED SYMPTOMS:

  • CoQ10 depletion can lead to blood sugar imbalances
  • heart problems
  • lowe energy
  • muscle weakness
  • decreased immunity
  • folic acid depletion can result in blood sugar dysregulation
  • cervical dysplasia
  • increased risk of cancer
  • birth defects
  • Low B12 leads to anemia
  • depression
  • fatigue
  • cardiovascular risks
  • skin tingling and numbness

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DRUG:

sulfonylureas

NUTRIENT DEPLETION:

CoQ10

ASSOCIATED SYMPTOMS:

  • blood sugar imbalance
  • heart problems
  • low energy
  • muscle weakness
  • decreased immunity

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NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS FOR SUPPORT                

 

GARLIC:  is used to protect the heart & blood vessels and is reported to help decrease oxidative stress markers, including those related to blood sugar regulation.  Garlic also has been reported to decrease the formation of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), which are implicated in heart disease, kidney issues and cancer.  Garlic is not reported to interfere with blood thinners. and may be helpful in reducing liver enzymes and fatty liver issues.

ALPHA-LIPOIC ACID: may help with blood sugar uptake and use in the body, and helps detoxify the body, protect the kidneys and improve cholesterol levels.

BILBERRY: has been shown to protect against eye problems that may result from blood sugar imbalance.

BITTER MELON: when combined with chromium and glutathione, bitter melon is reported to help lower blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c as well as helping with weight loss.

CINNAMON: studies have shown cinnamon to improve insulin sensitivity and acts like an antioxidant.

FIBER: Guar gum is a great source of soluble fiber. Flax meal, chia seeds, oat bran, psyllium.  Drink with plenty of water

CHROMIUM: is important for blood sugar and insulin regulation.  people who have a diet high in refined carbs like sugar may also be low in chromium.

MAGNESIUM: supports bone building and balance calcium intake.  Magnesium helps to support blood vessel function and insulin resistance, in addition to decreasing LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglycerides.  Also essential for phase-1 liver detoxification.  If you experience loose stools after taking magnesium, cut your dose in half and gradually increase over the course of a few months.

N-ACETYL CYSTEINE (NAC): is an antioxidant reported to help protect against blood vessel damage and clots due to insulin resistance, diabetes and other blood sugar regulation issues.  It helps improve the body’s capacity to decrease the harmful effects of exposed toxins. and has been reported to improve kidney function in studies, and support glutathione production in the kidneys.

OMEGA-3: excessive inflammation is common in folks who are insulin resistant and diabetic, and can lead to other health issues like immune imbalances sleep issues and heart disease.  Fish oil acts as an antioxidant and decreases inflammation in the body, in addition to supporting heart and blood vessel health.

ZINC: is important in helping our immune system and acts as an antioxidant.  it has been reported to help regulate blood sugar.  May also be used by men to treat low testosterone and support prostate health.

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SEEK OUT A PRACTIONER THAT IS TRAINED IN “NUTRITION”

I highly recommend working with someone who understands healthy nutrition to begin to make dietary lifestyle changes.  There is so much information floating around on the internet that many folks really do get confused as to what works and which way they should go.  Many get so overwhelmed that they just do the best they can out of frustration.

Incorporating the use of particular nutritional enzymes to assist a weakened digestive system (which includes the pancreas), to offer assisted digestion is also recommended.  So work with a nutritionist who is familiar with incorporating enzymes into their practice as I do.  They are a critical addition that should  be implemented.

 

Switching out refined sugar for the popular artificial sugars isn’t the answer, sugar-free this and that; actually make it much harder to control your blood sugar levels.  Not to mention they are what is referred to as “excito-neurotoxins), they actually pump up your fat cells and make you fatter.  It’s not about just the calories, it’s about what is your body supposed to “do” with it once it’s in there….

The next topic I will address will be the calcium aspect of your blood tests, and help you understand the reference ranges and what you are looking for and what nutritional changes you can incorporate.  Until then…. thank you for taking the time to follow, and share my posts.

 

Healthfully yours,

Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.

Harvested Health LLC

http://www.jodibarnett758.com

References:

James B. LaValle, RPh, CCN “Cracking the Metabolic Code”

Dr. Kurt W. Donsback “Lee Foundation of Nutritional Research” & “Super Health”

https://divisionofresearch.kaiserpermanente.org/projects/distance

http://theamericanchiropractor.com/2012/12/24/defining-food-enzyme-nutrition-an-interview-with-howard-loomis-dc/

 

 

 

 

 


Triglycerides…Do They Matter?

blood work

If you are like most folks, a blood test is an event that comes once a year along with your annual physical. Typically, within a week, your doctor calls with the results, assuring you they are normal. You may even receive a copy of the test, complete with columns of numbers supposedly confirming your health, but to you are probably meaningless and confusing. So you put the results aside, file them away and carry on with life free of concern. After all, the doctor says you are in the normal range so no worries!
While this “may” be the case, blood tests still raise important questions that even the healthiest of folks should be asking: Does “normal” necessarily mean “healthy”? What can the lab values of a blood test tell you about the current state of your health?  More importantly, what can these values tell about your health in the future?
The fact is, blood testing generally has one purpose, and that is to check for disorders, dysfunction and disease. When test results point to a certain condition, measures are taken to bring the appropriate number, the abnormal lab value into the normal range again. However, when results are normal, only rarely is a person told how to stay in this range or better yet, how to achieve an optimal, or target level. It becomes a matter of waiting for the other shoe to drop, leading up to the day when you walk into your doctors office and are told “you are diabetic” or you have a thyroid issues. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
If you know what you are looking for a blood test can essentially be a blueprint of your health & a glimpse of its future. It tells you much about what is going on inside your body, and it can speak volumes about what MAY go on inside of it somewhere down the line. I encourage my clients to use their tests to motivate them to change their dietary habits, start a fitness regimen or alter certain aspects of their lifestyle, like addressing their stress levels and sleep patterns.
In sum, a blood test is an effective and another tool that can be used to see where your health is so you can manage it more effectively. I also like to incorporate a QFA Analysis (Urine & Saliva) not used for diagnosing anything, but is useful in helping to address nutritional weakness.

cholesterol
One of the main focused elements it would seem today is the lipid panels: lipids include triglycerides and cholesterol which are fatty substances found in our blood. Triglycerides can originate in dietary fats, but they are also produce BY the liver when there is an excessive intake of sugar or alcohol in someone’s diet. (more times than not this is what is elevating someone’s triglyceride levels).
Cholesterol is a waxy substance and basic building block of hormones like testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, vitamin D and cortisol. On the lipid profile, cholesterol is divided into total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) the good guy, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or the bad guy. So together with the triglycerides, these substances make up the lipid panel and are measured to check primarily for heart disease and metabolic syndrome issues. Metabolic syndrome is a condition characterized by borderline high blood pressure, insulin resistance and elevated lipids called dyslipidemia which is an issue where unhealthy ratios of cholesterol and triglycerides, even though levels are not necessarily elevated. Usually the additional symptoms would include weight gain, usually in the belly area, a high body mass index BMI. Truth is in the United States adults over 50 yrs. of age have a one in three chance of developing this metabolic syndrome. Because metabolic syndrome is a significant indicator of risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, it is helpful to recognize the risk indicators. The lipid panel is a major tool for early detection.
An additional area that is checked is the homocysteine (an amino acid by product) and C-reactive protein (CRP) which are markers of cardiovascular risk when levels are too high. These are not typically included in a standard blood test, but these 2 biomarkers are measure when more comprehensive blood work is needed to look further.

 
Keep in mind that “normal” range doesn’t necessarily mean “IDEAL”. This is why a target, or optimal, range is also given. These optimal numbers can vary depending on individual factors, including weight and fitness levels, genetics, oxidative stress and inflammation factors going on. as well as hormone imbalances, and pre-existing issues like diabetes and liver issues.

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I want to focus today mainly on the “triglycerides”….

triglycerides
TRIGLYCERIDES: these are the main lipid constituents in the blood & a major source of energy for the body. So here’s how it works, when you take in food, excess calories are chemically converted into triglycerides, which are stored in fat cells if they are not needed for energy. Hormones can also signal the release of triglycerides from fat cells to provide energy. Triglycerides then circulate thru the body with the help of carrier proteins we call lipoproteins, particularly very-low-density lipoproteins, or VLDL. In normal amounts, triglycerides are vital for good health. However, IF you consume MORE calories than you expend, especially from sugar & carbohydrates, your triglyceride level will go up. Elevated triglyceride levels are a major risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and liver disease.
REFERENCE RANGES FOR TRIGLYCERIDES
Triglycerides (mg/dl) Category
Greater than 499 Very High
200-499 High
150-199 Borderline high
less than 150 Normal
TARGET RANGE: 50-100 mg/dL
So when you look at the reference ranges above you can see the target range for adults is 50 to 100 mg/dL. In other words, a triglyceride level of 135 may be “normal,” but it is neither ideal nor necessarily healthy. You can achieve an optimal level by adopting new lifestyle behaviors, and/or by including nutritional supplements and for some they may need lipid-lowering medications. Now while it IS possible to have a triglyceride level that is too LOW, typically levels that are too HIGH is far more the common issue than being too low. Why… well, we Americans LOVE our sweets and carbohydrates a bit too much, and we typically take in far more calories than we burn off for energy. Our portion sizes need to drastically reduce unless you are a hard core athlete who is burning up the quarter mile of calories.

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High triglycerides

Here are factors that usually will contribute to High Triglycerides:

  • Being overweight
  • Some medications like beta blockers, diuretics, estrogen, oral contraceptives, steroids,
  • Chronic inflammation (means been there for a while)
  • Chronic stress
  • Depression (esp. when it leads to over eating)
  • Diet high in refined sugars and carbohydras and unhealthy fats, like saturated fats and trans fats.
    environmental factors, like heavy metals, chemicals/pesticides.
  • Excessive coffee or alcohol consumption
  • Insulin resistance
  • Intestinal issues like leaky gut
  • Kidney disease
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Poorly controlled diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Regularly eating more calories than you burn off
  • Sex hormone imbalance
  • Underactive thyroid (hypo- thyroid)

Having high triglycerides are a major risk issue for diabetes and insulin resistance, liver disease, metabolic syndrome and pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas. An elevate level also contributes to hardening and narrowing of arteries, which is a specific type of heart disease called coronary artery disease.

 

When this condition develops, the likelihood of having a heart attack or stroke is much higher. Heartbeat abnormalities (heart arrhythmias), as well as clot formation in other parts of the body can also occur.

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WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT FATS?

 

saturated fats
Saturated Fats, usually found in animal proteins like beef and port, and full fat dairy like whole milk, butter and cheese.

 

transfats
Trans Fats you may also have heard them called trans fatty acids, these are produced when vegetable oils are hydrogenated to become more stable. the hydrogenation process gives the oil a shelf life, which is why there are used to make processed foods, fast foods and commercial baked goods, and hard margarine.

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In the last few years, more and more food makers have begun to take steps to remove this from their products. these fats are very unhealthy and not only do they increase the level of LDL in the body, but they also decrease the HDL which is the good cholesterol. So avoid margarine, and commercially made cakes, cookies, donuts, muffins, etc. and foods that are fried. Start reading your food labels before you buy any pre-made or pre-boxed foods. Does it take more time to shop… initially… but once you begin to get familiar with which companies offer healthier food choices you won’t spend as much time label reading.

monounsaturated fats
Monounsaturated fats. This is a healthy fat that reduces LDL levels without having any negative impact on your HDL level. Monounsaturated fat is critical to promote heart health and found in olive oil, avocados and most nuts. Keep in mind, that all fats both good and bad are dense in calories so even these should be consumed in moderation.

poly unsaturated fats
Polyunsaturated fats: these fats lower LDL levels and are essential for good health, two in particular, omega 3 and omega 6, must be taken in thru the diet as they are NOT produced by our body. Omega 6 fatty acids are plentiful in a number of foods, from nuts and seeds to vegetable oils, so most folks get more than enough of the omega 6. The omega 3s on the other hand, are not as abundant, found mainly in fatty fish like salmon, herring and trout and contain the long chain fatty acids EPA and DHA.  You want to eat more fish at least 2 servings per week; add chia seeds, flax seeds, flax oil, or walnuts, which are concentrated sources of another omega 3 known as ALA. Fish oil and DHA/EPA supplements are also options.

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Understanding the variation among fats is important, and helps you establish success towards achieving a more wholesome diet. Triglycerides/cholesterol levels are largely influenced by excessive intake of carbohydrates and sugar, so its a really good idea to drastically lower your consumption of these foods. In addition, you should remove trans fats from your diet by choosing lean sources of protein, and stick to reducing your dairy intake.

Avoid processed foods as much as possible and eat more fish that are high in omega 3 and low in mercury. Olive, flax and avocado oils should be your “go to” oils for salad dressing and preparing low heat dishes. When cooking use macadamia oil, coconut oil, grape seed oils, sunflower oils these have a high flash point and doesn’t oxidize.

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WHAT IF YOUR TRIGLYCERIDES ARE ALREADY HIGH?
Well, having elevated levels doesn’t mean health issues are inevitable. There are a number of steps you can take to reverse the trend and reach for healthier levels.
If your levels are already elevated, 1st things first, begin with… check what you are eating as I addressed above, and some of the supplements I’d recommend:
Omega 3  ( Click product name for more information) – like fish oils that are high in DHA/EPA and or flax oils
Niacin – is vitamin B3 and the body needs it for proper circulation and healthy skin. It assist in the functioning of the nervous system; in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins; and in the production of hydrochloric acid for the digestive system. It is involved in the normal secretion of bile & stomach fluids and in the synthesis of sex hormones. Niacin (nicotinic acid) lowers cholesterol and improves circulation. It is also a memory enhancer.
Here are some symptoms of niacin deficiency:
Canker sores
dementia,
depression
diarrhea
dizziness
fatigue
halitosis
headaches
indigestion
insomnia
limb pains,
loss of appetite
low blood sugar
muscular weakness
skin eruptions and inflammation
cholesterol imbalances
Please note: there are 2 forms of Niacin, nicotinc acid and niacinamide. in the form if niacinamide, it doesn’t cause flushing. However, niacinamide does NOT have all the same properties of niacin (nicotinic acid) Specifically, it is NOT effective for lowering blood cholesterol. That being said taking niacin in the nicotinc acid version will generate a harmless flush. kind of like a bit of a hot flash, and tingling sensation on the skin. usually, last only a few minutes and is harmless.

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Other supplements that may be helpful:

garlic
Aged Garlic: its used to protect the heart and blood vessels and has been reported to help decrease oxidative stress markers, including those related to blood sugar regulation issues. Aged garlic has also been reported to reduce liver enzymes and fatty liver, as well as decrease the formation of advanced gycation- end products ( AGEs), which are implicated in a various amount of health issues like heart disease, kidney, and cancers. Aged garlic is not reported to interfere with blood thinners.

coQ10
CoQ10 is important for energy production, oxygen use, high blood pressure and heart health, especially in folks with kidney issues. It can also boost endurance, improve insulin sensitivity, and lower triglycerides and blood glucose levels. This is especially recommended to take if you are currently taking stain drugs, red yeast rice and certain diabetes medications, which may result in a CoQ10 deficiency.

greentea
Green tea extract: helps improve antioxidant and lipid levels. When taken with other supplements and diet/lifestyle changes, green tea extract is reported to assist in weight loss. It can also help regulate glucose levels, lower triglycerides and prevent kidney stones that can result from high calcium. If taking an extract use a form standardized to 90% polyphenols (Specifically EGCG). TELL your doctor if you are currently taking aspirin or anticoagulant drugs like warfarin (Coumadin), as green tea extract may increase the risk of bleeding.

lcarnitine
L-carnitine: can help lower triglycerides because it helps move fat into cells for the purpose of energy production. Also supports demineralization and has been reported to reverse and prevent symptoms related to hyperthyroidism. food sources are meat, poultry and my least favorite source “dairy”.

omega3
Omega 3: fish oil is one of the 1st recommended choices for lower triglycerides. In addition to its anti inflammatory properties, fish oil is reported to lower total cholesterol levels and decrease oxidative stress, which is associated with LDL or bad cholesterol. If you are on blood thinning medications, talk with your doctor as fish oil may increase the risk of bleeding .

probiotic 11
Probiotics: help to normalize beneficial flora in the gut, and are reported to decrease triglyceride and cholesterol levels. They are also reported to improve BUN levels and quality of life if folks with kidney issues. If using antibiotics, wait 3 hrs. before taking probiotics.

redyeastrice
Red Yeast rice: acts similar to statin drugs and may help to reduce cholesterol. Some studies show it can also lower triglycerides. It is recommended you take CoQ10 when supplementing with red yeast rice.

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WHAT TO AVOID:
Inflammation causing foods and I include in this category: trans fats, refined sugars like high fructose corn syrup, (folks check your condiments usually these are LOADED with HFCS), Sodas, anything white, like white breads, pastas, sugars, bagels.
WHAT TO INCORPORATE MORE OF:
EXERCISE only takes about 20 mins. a day 3 to 4 times a week, which is more than the average adult seems to achieve. We do a lot of sitting, with the invention of computers, and most folks drive everywhere they go. Make a point to add more physical movement into your weekly routine.
FIBER a diet high in fiber has been shown to help lower triglycerides. some of these foods would be beans, leafy greens and some whole grains, like oatmeal. Add flax meal and chia seeds in your foods too, like smoothies, salads, sprinkle on your veggies, add to the breading on your meats, add to meat loafs, hamburger patties, whole grain pancakes, and whole grain muffins.
WATER; I cannot tell you how many patients/clients I see who are chronically dehydrated. I hear that I’m never thirsty, I can’t stand water, I’ve heard every excuse you can imagine, yet I aim to tell ya that your body is about 80% water and it needs it to perform every single function in the body. Everyone should be drinking 1/2 THEIR body weight in ounces.  If you are not used to drinking water thru out the day, it will take a bit of time to bring back your natural thirst factor so gradually increase your water intake.
REDUCE COFFEE HABIT the coffee craze has gone off the charts. The popularity of coffee which also adds usually a large amount of creamers (real and artificial which has all the bad fats we talked about already) and coupled with the sugars, is a big contributing factor toward high triglycerides.

 
I will address Total Cholesterol, and high and low cholesterol in another post otherwise it’s gonna feel like I’m writing a book.

 
If you’d like some assistance with your Nutritional balance/ battle plan. you can go to http://www.jodibarnett758.com and check out my service tab. I’d be honored to work with you. Lets begin this new year, ready to unveil the healthiest version of our health that we can!
Healthfully yours,
Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.
Harvested Health LLC

References:
Prescriptions for Nutritional healing, Phyllis A.Balch, CNC.
Your blood never lies. James B. LaVallen, RPh, CCN
Howard F. Loomis, Jr., D.D., FIACA


The Call of Addictions….

I felt the need to talk on this topic… well because it’s a big topic and it affects not only the people who struggle with addiction; but those connected too the person who struggles with addiction.

When it comes to interacting in this world, NOTHING is ever just about one person, there is and always will be a ripple effect, everyone our lives touch especially those we love, are draw into any addiction phase on some level if not on many levels.

There are many area’s  that people can find themselves held hostage:

  •  Emotional addictions,
  • alcohol dependency,
  •  caffeine,
  • prescription drugs,
  •  tobacco,
  • sugar, foods;

anything that draws us to a point where we don’t feel we can function without IT, whatever IT is for that person.

What might emotional addiction look like? Well… emotions control a lot of what someone either feels passionately about or is crippled by .  Yet emotional addiction can also fall in a place where someone gets addicted to being treated in a particular way, they have to have it in their life or they seek to create the atmosphere. I believe sexual addiction blends into the emotional slot, because I believe most are drawn into sexual addiction due to emotional addictions.

  •  OCD issues, which means control; most of these actually function from some element based in “fear”, fear of being alone, fear of crowds, fear of being away from a particular daily routine, fear of starting anything new, fear of failure that hinders them from ever sticking their toe in the water to embark on anything new, fear of rejection, fear of feeling loved, fear of not being loved. It ends up feeling like a perpetual cycle of one sorts or another.

Addictions really are all around us, and they are terribly difficult for folks to want to acknowledge let alone talk openly about them.

An addiction really is a dependency that creates any compulsive or habitual need to repeat a particular experienceSome addictions fall into  mild up to sever, socially acceptable to unacceptable.” (Steven Horne AGH)

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HOW DOES SOCIETY ACTUALLY MAKE ADDICTION A SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE FORM OF LIVING?

There are addictions that fall into the socially acceptable zone, like tobacco & alcohol, and sexual addictions, they seem so common place today most folks don’t waste a second blink when the topic comes up.

Yet it’s socially acceptable for folks to go out to drink  to spend time together, and folks laugh about who drank so much they couldn’t remember the evening, or was so sick they called off work the next day.  No big thing in society, it’s called socializing!
Those who smoke cigarettes already know that it’s causing some form of damage to their lungs, heart, cardiovascular system. Not so long ago smoking was allowed on prime time programs, and commercials. Certain brands through advertising tried to glamorize the hunky, handsome cowboy smoking their  brand.   It is wonderful that things are changing where smoking is concerned, and more and more states are making it illegal to smoke in public places to protect everyone, and more and more people are finding the strength to eliminate the habit .

Ok alcohol and tobacco are obvious addictions, what’s another socially acceptable one….

Caffeine Oh man, it’s a biggie, coffee shops popping up all over, and if you think getting a fancy mixed drink can end up being pricey, well, have you gotten any fancy expresso, frappuccino or latte  coffee lately  $5 dollars and up per cup.   Peeps just cannot get their day started without the java, and it’s socially acceptable when someone admits “I can’t  even think about conversation  UNTIL I’VE HAD AT LEAST MY 2ND CUP OF COFFEE”… means, their brains don’t feel like they can socially connect without it, now toss in the mix caffeinated pop’s, energy drinks and popular energy caffeine shots sold at every single gas station in America.  Think we have a caffeine issue in our country?

 

Move onto the socially acceptable addiction with foods/sugars more than 80% of the people in our country fall into the overweight

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DO COMPULSIVE BEHAVIORS CLASSIFY AS ADDICTION?

What about behaviors…. are those really addictions?  Well, you decide, we have television programs that showcase folks who need help with hoarding , they suffer from being compulsive about having certain things. Then there is:

  • gambling,
  • shopping,
  • sex, these behaviors again fall into the emotional addiction because much of our behavior is guided by open or buried emotions.
  •   When we have any behavior that we cannot bring ourselves to stop, even when we know its damaging to ourselves and those in our lives, its an addiction!

 

Why does it seem like having a issue with an addiction is so easy to fall into and so difficult to pull out of?
It’s the human desire to “feel” good!  When people become addicted to certain substances or behaviors certain neurotransmitters are released in their brain & nervous system, like endorphins, dopamine or epinephrine.  Most addictive substances either mimic or trigger the release of these chemicals, they elevate moods and do what they are supposed to do, “make us feel good !”  Then our body comes to depend on this outside trigger to release these chemicals and the circle of dependency begins.

Our human nature, and its driven need for ritual, love of pleasure, cravings, these  are deeply carved, making moderation for many, easier said than done.

Then you have many well-meaning folks who think , ” if it’s not good for you, just have the will-power to say no”!  It is critical to understand that to overcome addictions by willpower definitely  won’t be everyone’s way to achieve success, the proof is in the relapse numbers.  There has been a chemical imbalance that some of these substances are meeting a need for physically.  There is a nutritional deficiency in place that needs addressing, and many need assistance addressing repressed  emotional triggers.
Support and accountability are key in overcoming any sort of addiction issue. As is nutritional balancing they both need to go together!

Sad truth …when trying to over-come one addiction another is usually substituted to take  it’s place, so spending time dealing with all root issues is paramount to success…. many reach for junk foods, sugars, etc. or some replace one behavior addiction with a different one.

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NUTRITIONAL SUPPORT KEY PLAYER

Beginning to nutritionally give your body what it’s been lacking, and bringing back a balance of nutrients, then the body has the ability to produce the chemicals that make one feel good by design.

Nutritional changes have to be incorporated for success, you can’t stop alcohol or drug dependency living on processed junk foods and expect positive results for any long term length of time.
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CODEPENDENCY

Then there are those who are drawn into this emotional addiction circle through someone else’s addiction.  We see this frequently when someone has been in a relationship with someone or a family member or friend who is struggling  with dependency on alcohol,  drugs even behavior addictions.

They can get emotionally addicted to trying to fix others that they have coping mechanisms that can end up being counter productive  for themselves and all involved. They are experiencing  their own heightened levels of stress and also need good nutritional  balance and an emotional  support outlet.

I believe that each and every person is touched by this category in one area or another, it’s epidemic in my opinion.  Which is why I chose to write about it.  Truth is, it’s touched my life since my childhood on multiple planes,  I understand the emotional rollercoaster of emotions that can be experienced watching people you love dearly struggle.

There is a depth of healing that takes place both from those who have the addiction to those that fall in the ripples zone.

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ALCOHOL

Lets move onto the alcohol.  For all basic purposes alcohol  is a refined carbohydrate, which contributes to hypoglycemia.

Over-consumption now well, that over a period of time we know damages:

  • liver,
  • brain,
  • nervous system,
  •  kidneys,
  •  pancreas,
  •  personal relationships,
  •  employment,
  •  It’s a big contributor in traffic accidents even fatalities while driving, which brings with it legal fees that further adds to the stress cycle of not being able to cope.
  • _________________________________

NATURAL OPTIONS THAT MAY BE HELPFUL

So one can physically ease the craving for alcohol by improving the quality of nutrition that goes into their body.
When poor nutrition is happening; what might that look like? Well   replacing the alcohol with lots of sugar which is typically what happens because sugar can also raise dopamine levels in the brain,  increased use of caffeine, junk fast food . What happens as a result over time the craving for alcohol creeps back into being, refined sugars raise the blood alcohol levels especially when yeast overgrowth in the body is involved.

So balancing the blood sugar swings will be helpful:

  •  Chromium GTF (click on the product name if you want to read more about it) can help stabilize blood sugar levels in the blood and reduce alcoholic cravings.
  • A good B Complex Vitamin
  • evening primrose oil helps reduce the cravings for alcohol. It also is a source of Gamma-linoleic Acid, an important essential fatty acid that helps the immune system and supports the circulatory system.
  •  Vitamin C ascorbate daily along with large amounts of magnesium that the alcohol robs from the body.

Some find their nerves feel frayed and some get headaches:

An excellent formula to aid the recovering alcoholic

  • Kudzu  is a vine common to the southern states with the properties of reducing high blood pressure, relieving pain and cramps.  Studies have demonstrated it also posses the ability to help control ravings for alcohol.
  • St. Johns wort adds the benefits of bringing the nervous system back into balance and helps to dispel negative emotions associated with alcoholism.

One of the more addictive aspects where beer is concerned isn’t just about the alcohol; its the hops used in making the beer.  Hops is an herb that contains a sedative substance with a mild addictive effect.

  • Hops can be taken to reduce cravings for beer, providing a similar relaxing affect without the negative issues that go with the alcohol.

We have to include and talk about the liver here because this organ ends up working overtime to neutralize alcohol when levels are too high in the blood, its the liver that breaks down after long abuse.  We call it Cirrhosis.  The liver is one of those organs that can repair itself; all it needs is a break.

  •   Milk Thistle can be helpful for protecting the liver from the effects of alcohol, and helping the liver to heal.  When this organ has suffered sever damage due to alcoholism, Milk Thistle and
  • SAM-e along with topical application of
  • helichrysum essential oil over the liver area will promote healing.

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 CAFFEINE

Let’s move onto the caffeine, I bet this one would fall into the most widely used drug, partially because its not regarded as a one, yet it’s used in lots of over the counter headache meds.

I remember taking a medication as a teen-ager for migraine headaches called Cafergot,caffeine listed as top I gredient which caused me to go into convulsions and required a transport.

Caffeine isn’t regarded by most as dangerous.  Our nation is literally on use over load.

Adults use it freely, and kids are drinking it in their pop like Mountain Dew which has a high caffeine ratio.  In spite of the numerous jokes folks make about gotta have their caffeine or cannot function, excessive use of it can cause serious damage to the brain and central nervous system.

What happens is with continual habitual use of caffeine reliance, regardless if your fix comes from :

  • coffee,
  • pop,
  •  tea
  • , Red Bull, or other commercial energy drinks loaded with caffeine and sugar, when you use it for energy and  to sustain it, a regular pattern begins to establish.

But let me walk you thru what happens in the body, caffeine stimulates epinephrine production, which speed up the function of your central nervous system.  When you rely and habitually use caffeine as your source for revving up your inner engine, it causes :

  • adrenal fatigue,
  • anxiety,
  • nervousness,
  •  insomnia and other nervous symptoms.

Since it depletes the adrenals, which causes fatigue, one needs to begin to rely on more caffeine intake to keep from dropping due to exhaustion, or the mid day crash and burn while at work.

 

We are seeing more and more young people having heart attacks, and being hospitalized due to cardia related symptoms who are drinking lots of energy drinks that are heavy in the caffeine load.

 

Prolonged caffeine use is linked to:

  •  Ischemia,
  •  cyanosis,
  • EKG changes,
  •  muscle pains,
  •  tachycardia,
  • bradycardia,
  • hypertension,
  • numbness,
  • tingling,
  •  vertigo,
  • neurological issues,
  •  vascular headaches. (hint, caffeine dehydrates body tissue and dehydration contributes to lots of these symptoms too).

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NATURAL NUTRITIONAL OPTIONS

There are some herbal options that strengthen the adrenals like:

  •  licorice root,
  •   Adrenal Support and 
  • Nervous fatigue formula these can be helpful with helping one thru caffeine withdrawal.

These same herbal products can also prove helpful with sugar addiction which is often like hand in glove to caffeine addiction.

There are healthier pick-me ups that won’t damage the adrenals, cause the headache from hell like caffeine,

  •  Energ-V,
  • Solstic Energy (just pour one packet in your bottle of water shake and go)
  • Target Endurance, these are healthy safe ways to increase energy levels.
  •   I love, love , love, Liquid Chlorophyll ES added to my water for a natural energy boost.  I frequently put in the water bottle I take to the gym.

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DRUGS

Lets move to the drugs that cause addiction,  there is a list of these that I am not going to go into depth by name or category with in this post because there are so many.

What I want to point out is drug addictions are a compulsive psychological and many times a painful physiological craving.

Withdrawal from drug addiction requires BOTH detoxification and nervous and glandular system support!

Professional assistance should be sought after for help with drug withdrawal, but GOOD nutritional and supplements can be helpful, they are only one piece of the puzzle towards recovery.  Emotional, physical, and nutritional aspects have to be dealt with!

Whatever the drug, one thing is certain.  It will become a burden on the liver.  So, herbs which help to detox the blood and strengthen the liver are probably central to any nutritional program for drug withdrawal.

  •  Milk Thistle Combination
  • , All Cell Detox or
  •   Enviro-Detox. Although the amounts will vary from person to person based on the advice of your Practitioner.  It is important to drink lots of water to help flush the drugs from your system.

Anyone withdrawing from drugs is going to experience mental and emotional stress.  so a nervine formula such as :

  • Stress-J 
  • Stress Relief, or
  • Nervous Fatigue Formula would be helpful during the withdrawal phase.

As with alcohol & tobacco addiction, adrenal support can prove helpful because blood sugar imbalances are often part of addictive behavior.

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SUGAR

I also want to briefly tough  on the addiction with sugar/foods…

The compulsive urge to eat sugar usually comes from a glandular imbalance.  Yep when there are adrenal and pancreatic imbalances what happens is there ends up being a deficiency of protein or a lack of proper protein digestion and metabolism.

Many also lack good fats and trace minerals in the diet.  Yeast infections usually play a huge role too.  Food addictions in general signify glandular and biochemical imbalances.

Folks are also emotional eaters, people are taught as children that food is a reward system.  Get good grades let me bake you some cookies, or something to celebrate lets go get cake or pie, (how do we celebrate birthdays?  with what?) why and how did that cycle ever come into being that cake is what needed to be symbolized for celebrating a birthday? No I really didn’t want to research that part.

People compensate using different foods, i.e. snacks, for various emotional highs and lows in their lives.  Excessive cravings for sweets or food in general can also come from a fealing of lack of sweetness (joy) in ones life which causes one to seek pleasure thru their foods.

So dealing with addiction in this area definitely requires taking the time to bring the body back into balance, digestive enzymes can be helpful, as would probiotics.  Considering a yeast detox thru diet and/or food elimination.  Adding Essential fatty acids, higher fiber, lots of water and some good whole food multi-vitamins.

Each person is unique and the beauty of working in the field of Naturopathy, I treat each person as an individual and allow the body to be the messenger, vs. a one-size fits all approach.

I really didn’t want this post to be this windy and stretch out this long, yet when I started writing, there were things that just felt important to place in it.  I will write more individually on each of these areas so I can dig in deeper.

If you’d like help with your Nutritional Battle Plan in tackling any of these addictions.  You can go to http://www.jodibarnett758.com and click on my services tab.

Any of the products I spoke of in this post can also be found thru the products link there as well.

Thank you all…

Hebrews 11:1 NLT ” Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”

With addictions there IS HOPE, have the FAITH to reach for it…

Healthfully yours,

Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.

Harvested Health LLC.

 


What’s The Real Scoop On Inflammation?

Most of our health issues have a direct “root” in “inflammation”. Inflammation is a normal response to any sort of tissue damage or even injury, sprain an ankle whats the 1st thing that happens, the body sends fluid to the area injured and it swells…
Inflammation also happens when there is a chemical/microbial issue . (toxin & infection). So bottom line it doesn’t really matter how the body gets injured, inflammation is going to be how the body responds to the damage.
It is the Latin term for inflammation, which usually brings with it heat, swelling, redness, and sometimes pain at the site of injury.. Take a look at some of the descriptions of illness like Appendic-ITIS , it means inflammation of the appendix. bronch-ITIS, inflammation of the bronchials, tonsil-ITIS, inflammation of the tonsils. Now go onto arthritis, tendonitis, bursisis, colitis, dermatitis, gingivitis, conjunctivitis, diverticulitis, sinusitis, etc. is anyone seeing a pattern yet?
Inflammation typically resolves itself and the injury is able to heal. when healing isn’t completed, tissues can become chronically inflamed. a slow process of deterioration begins which takes things to the chronic and degenerative place, like cardiovascular disease, arthritis, obesity and even mental issues that seem to be beyond common place for folks today.
What happens when the tissues are damaged, the body releases something called histamine, which is followed by a release of bradykinin, serotonin and some other chemical mediators. What happens is these dilate capillary pores and initiate inflammation by allowing fluid & proteins to enter the tissue spaces that are damaged creating swelling. this is usually the 1st phase of inflammation.
The body then releases chemical messengers to open blood vessels so the white blood cells can reach the damaged zone. which causes further swelling. So at this point lets say if the issue happens to be in ones respiratory tract, histamine & leukotrienes will cause bronchial constriction & increased mucus to flush the toxins from the mucus membranes, usually pain receptors are brought to life at this point. We FEEL it.
White blood cells use free radicals to destroy microbes & cell debris. Healthy cells need adequate levels of antioxidants (which is why we should have a daily intake especially thru foods) to protect themselves from the free radicals. so when antioxidant levels are too low, healthy tissues are able to get damaged which then can allow inflammation to spread.
After the white blood cells have completed their cleanup job, is when the body initiates the healing phase. Cortisol from the adrenals is then secreted to shut down the production of the chemical messengers that mediate the inflammation process. Macrophages clean up the rest of the garbage left and a regenerative cycle begins as chemical messengers are released which stimulate tissue repair. (our body is beyond amazing, what a CREATOR we have).
When there is chronic inflammation, the body is not quite able to complete the healing phase of the inflammation process. It sort of gets stuck in the earlier phases. So the free radical activity in phase 3 causes more and more cells to end up getting damaged, causing the inflammatory fires to spread. Like a forest fire, it’s meant to burn up the dead material, but if it gets hot enough it will begin to take with it healthy areas in the process.
So bottom line what I’m saying: in order for inflammation to heal as it is supposed to do by design, there has to be nutrients available for the healing & repair to happen, if we are constantly exposed to environmental toxins and a horrible nutrient lost diet, and adrenal fatigue from chronic stress which shuts down cortisol production, then the healing initiation can be prevented from completion. We also need adequate lymphatic drainage to assist with excess fluid removal from the damaged tissues.

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STARTING POINT BEGINS HERE: 
Detox gotta take the trash out folks, change up what your cleaning with, washing with, change out the chemicals for something healthier, like Natures Enzymes,  ( click on highlighted item for more information) for me this stuff is like LOVE in a bottle, its an awesome cleaner, actually blends as a wonderful carrier for essential oils, can be sprayed directly on the body for pain (kicked tail on my headaches when mixed with some peppermint and Ravintsara Oil)  and the full line of NSP essential oils. ( click on highlighted item for more information)
2nd: Healthy fats… realizing the chemical messages that help to mediate the inflammation process are made from Omega 6 and Omega 3 EFA. We need more Omega 3’s to promote the healing process. I believe we are seeing more and more inflammatory ailments because more and more folks are being misled to reduce the FAT in their diets. problem is they need to of course reduce the hydrogenated fats, and increase the Essential fatty acids, that we have to get from outside sources. Flax oil, ( this comes in liquid or a capsule) Borage oil, Evening primrose, fish oils. Grab more of those.
3rd:  Get rid of the simple refined carbs. We have a bona-fide sugar addiction issue in this country. Take a moment go ONE day, and eat how you normally eat and yet remove ALL the bread, potato, pasta and anything with refined sugars or high fructose corn syrup. so for that to happen you have to read some labels, like read your condiment labels, salad dressing labels, coffee creamers, Most clients when I have them do this for ONE day, they call me and say “whelp, I actually fasted that day, cause now I’m lost, almost everything I eat has some form of simple sugar attached to it. Refined sugars and grains cause your insulin production to SPIKE, high levels of insulin stop the conversion of Essential fatty acids to anti- inflammation chemical messengers. which encourages inflammatory over reaction in YOUR bodies. So refined SUGARS and simple carbohydrates are not healthy. (note there is a difference between simple and complex carbs, take a moment and do some google searches to educate yourself on the difference your health will thank you for it)
4th: I cannot state how many of my peeps show signs of lymphatic congestion, pooling of lymphatic fluid in the spaces around the cells is one of the major effects of inflammation. Understand how your lymph system works, it has no pumps it is gravity fed, meaning it works better when the body is active with movement.. walking, bouncing (rebounder) massage therapy, even acupressure, I like to reach for Lymphomax and lymph drainage to support my body anytime I’ve had some type of an injury.
5th: Get the antioxidants going in the body, eat foods/fruits/veggies that are known to be high in antioxidants, Vitamin C, Thai-go (IS MY ALL TIME FAVORITE) ( You really want to order 2 of these at one time, especially if more than one person is going to be taking) this goes down easy, it tastes good so it was always easy to get it in my kids without a battle, mix it in a fruit smoothie if you like.
6th:  Since the adrenals produce the cortisol that is supposed to help keep inflammation under control. it makes sense you want to support those two almond-shaped wonders that set on top of both kidneys. Think about something, how many folks do you know that are currently taking “corticosteroid prescriptions”,,, it mimics this hormone our body produces.  Since Chronic stress, caffeine and sugar exhaust our adrenals and slow or reduce their ability to control inflammation, might there be a connection as to why so many are physically struggling with out of control inflammation related issues?  I am partial to Adapta Max and Adrenal Support, to support my adrenals, we all should consider supporting our adrenals as we all deal with on-slaught of stressors on a daily basis.
7th: Does NSP have some herbal remedies that can nutritionally help as natural anti-inflamatories.  If you haven’t be able to guess yet, as a Practitioner, I only use NSP herbs & supplements in my practice.  They have been in business for over 45 years, their quality can be trusted and they have stood the test of time.

 

So that being said;  IF Relief, Nerve Control and IF-C are all great choices, IF-C seems to help bunches if inflammation is acute (sudden onset symptoms) Chronic (means long standing been there awhile) Nerve Control can be of some help nutritionally if there seems to be pain coupled with inflammation and I have found it be super helpful, I used that with SAMe, when I had sciatic issues last year.
Bottom line is just about everything that goes out of whack with us physically has a ROOT in inflammation to one degree or another. so we want to nutritionally support the body systems that are by design meant to keep it in check and work with the body vs. just masking the symptom. But you have to be willing to do your part and change what part of your lifestyle is contributing to the issue. Definition of insanity is WHAT?
Ok folks, that’s my input for the day.. sorry it was so long,

Healthfully yours,

Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.

 

Harvested Health LLC

http://www.jodibarnett758.com

 

Resources:

 The comprehensive guide to NSP products

Prescription for Nutritional Healing 

Diet & Nutrition