Women's Integrative Health

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Category: Weight Loss

Allergies and Chronic Inflammation

Allergies and chronic inflammation go hand in hand.  Allergies are another common sign of chronic inflammation.  If you suffer from seasonal or year-round allergies, you have probably wondered why they seem to affect you but not some of your friends or members of your family.  It’s because people wit allergies have an immune system that is launching an immune response to harmless substances (like pollen), as if they are a threat to the body.  This activates an immune response and causes that annoying persistent sneezing, mucus, and inflammation.  The immune systems of your fortunate allergy-free friends is simply not perceiving those substances as harmful.

The body will provide a tone of subtle signs when someone starts to develop chronic inflammation, and this is where conventional medicine can sometimes fall short.  Your doctor will be well aware of inflammation caused by infection or injury and fully recognize autoimmunity and autoimmune disease, but they don’t seem to pay much mind to the subtle signs of chronic inflammation.  And if they do, they will prescribe a medication that will treat the symptoms and not the root cause.

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Inflammation and the Immune System

The Immune System

Our immune system is one of the most incredible and complex parts of the human body.  The immune system is able to recognize foreign substances such as viruses and bacteria that might do our body harm.  Inflammation and the immune system is responsible for many of our health issues today.

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Optimal Fertility and the Gut Health and Microbiome Connection

Digestion plays a role in the health of virtually every body system.  70% of your immune system cells reside in the gut wall.  Gut and digestive health are important for all couples trying to conceive.  Enhancing digestion can greatly aid men and women with fertility concerns.  An improvement in gut health may be the missing link to solving otherwise unexplained fertility.  Optimal fertility and gut health are closely related.  Do you have digestive problems?  Hopefully this information will help and pave the way for relief and new power over your fertility.

How Does Digestion Impact Fertility?

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Low Down on Hormone Tests – Part 4!

MTHFR – What is it and why do you need to know about it?

MTHFR: methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase – this is actually a genetic test for how well you absorb and process folate.  It possibly is an issue in early stage miscarriage.

If you have this mutation, it could affect your ability to get and/or stay pregnant.  This mutation has an effect  on mental health as well as having implications on reproductive health.  Women usually find out about this mutation after having multiple miscarriages.  Wouldn’t it be easier and better to know before?

The MTHFR gene produces the MTHFR enzyme which is necessary for the proper utilization of folic acid or folate (vitamin B9).  The MTHFR enzyme breaks folic acid down into L-methylfolate to make it usable by the body.  This is known as methylation.

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Low Down on Hormone Tests – Part 3!

Thyroid Hormones – TSH, fT3, tT4,rT3

Understanding the Physiology

Lets look at the thyroid hormones.  TSH is Thyroid Stimulating Hormone.  TSH is released in the pituitary to urge the thyroid gland to produce hormone.  The thyroid produces T4 (inactive thyroid hormone) which is then converted to T3 (active) and reverse T3.

It looks like this:

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Confused About Hormone Testing!

If you are struggling with hormone imbalances, fertility issues or just would like a baseline understanding of how your hormones are doing or are confused about hormone testing, you are in the right place!

There are three types of testing:  Blood Serum, Saliva and Dried Urine.

Each serve a purpose and depending on what you are looking for, will determine what test to use.

So, what tests should you ask for and which test should you choose?  I hope to clarify some of that for you here.  Hormone testing is best when done 5-7 days after ovulation.

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Essential Oils Are for Balancing Hormones

 

Balancing Hormones with Essential Oils

Let’s look at which essential oils are and how essential oils are used for balancing hormones.  By learning how to use and knowing which essential are oils for balancing hormones, you can take charge of your hormonal health by using healthy alternatives to hormonal birth control or other pharmaceuticals that may end up being even more harmful to your hormonal health and well-being.

What are essential oils?

  • Derivatives of plants
  • Concentrated form of phytonutrients
  • Distillation allows to derivation of pure components
  • Been used for thousands of years
  • Very safe if used correctly
  • Can be used on a regular basis

Why are they so effective for women with hormone issues?

  • They can be used every day
  • They have a significant effect on the brain and the limbic system

    How Essential Oils Help Optimize Fertility

  • They balance the brain pathways in the body
  • You can use specific essential oils for specific symptoms
  • If used correctly, they are safe to use frequently to help to reset abnormal patterns, especially beneficial when trying to balance hormones and insulin levels
  • You can substitute essential oils for endocrine disruptors and toxic chemicals found in some cosmetics and cleaning agents

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Looking to Use More Gluten Free Foods?

Gluten Free Foods List

If you are trying a Gluten Free diet, here are some foods that can be consumed.  Use this gluten free foods list as much as possible.  Wherever possible, go organic and local with your whole-food choices; flash frozen is good too!

Healthy fat:

  • Extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, grass fed tallow and organic or pasture-fed butter, ghee, almond mild, avocados, coconuts, olives, nuts and nut butters, cheese (except blue cheese) and seeds (flaxseed, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds).

Protein:

  • Whole eggs; wild fish (salmon, black cod, mahi mahi, grouper, herring, trout, sardines); shellfish and molluscs (schrimp, crab, lobster, mussels, clams, oysters); grass-fed meat, fowl, poultry, and pork (beef, lamb, liver, bison, chicken, turkey, duck, ostrich, veal); wild game.

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Hello Monday!

Good Beautiful Monday!

Well it’s been about 6 weeks of steady rain and although it may not be beautiful, bright and sunny, it is still a beautiful day! It’s been 2 weeks since my last post about my weight loss journey, and let me tell you it’s been a roller coaster.  The first few days started off strong and quickly fizzled away as it usually does, and you know what?! It’s okay because even though I ‘fell off’ or had a rough day with the exercise and eating healthy, it’s best just to pick yourself up and keep on going.  So no! It doesn’t have to be a Monday.  Many times in the past I’ve said, “It’s Friday and I’ve slipped up.  Looks like I have the weekend to do whatever I want before Monday comes again, yes I’ll start again Monday.”  For example this past weekend we had my step daughters dance recital.  This means that from Friday after I got out of work until 11:30 pm and then again on Saturday from 10am-1130pm we lived and breathed dance! This makes no time for regular routine eating or hydrating.  In between both recitals on Saturday we had an hour to go home and grab a quick dinner that turned into scarfing down Chinese and rushing back to get the girls hair, makeup and outfits back on.  Through all of this I could have beaten myself up and said well I messed up, I have until Monday again.  No I wasn’t proud of my food choices, but decided in order to be healthy I needed to ‘treat’ myself and know it’s okay.  So, on Sunday my fiancé, my step son Nick  and I got right out of bed and went for a 2 mile walk/hike.  How great did we all feel when we got back after that walk!? It was more than just being proud of ourselves for having the motivation to do the walk, but also we were able to enjoy the quiet peace of a beautiful country morning.  Not only was it good for the body it was good for the mind and soul.  It’s hard to realize sometimes after a long day of work how tired we can be and how exercise seems like such a task, but once you look at the big picture and how all encompassing exercise, no matter how big or small, can benefit us entirely! You’re probably asking if I’ve weighed myself and the answer is no.  I will eventually weigh myself, but I know how my clothes fit and how I feel and the amount of energy I have.  Though my journey of weight loss and Chiropractic as a patient and as a Dr., I’ve learned my body like never before.  Knowing your body and what it’s capable of and what it can handle is key.  As you get to know yourself better, you’ll be better and healthier no matter what!

Here’s to continuing the journey and always being positive about the future! There’s no need to say ‘we’ll do better’ because we ARE better.  As long as you’re trying and doing your very best, be proud.

Yours in Health,

Kate

It’s Monday…again.

Welcome to a new section of our blog.  Here I will be documenting my weight loss journey, so every woman [or man] that has struggled with weight loss knows they are not alone and never will be.  As you can see by the title it is Monday yet again. I am 29 and am a Doctor of Chiropractic.  As a Chiropractor, we encourage a person to live to their optimal ability.  Please, let me digress for a moment but hopefully you will understand why shortly. 

 I have struggled with being overweight most of my life, if I had to say probably since I was 8 years old. Over the years, I have deduced it’s from my love of food and my dislike of exercising, so that equates to a very bad combination and downward spiral.  When I was very young, potty training age, my grandmother used to babysit me.  Although I do not remember this, I was later told that my grandmother bribed me with candy if I would use the toilet.  I mean really, what kid doesn’t love candy (hopefully my future child!).  As I got older my mother would pack me healthy snacks and lunches to go to my grandmothers with, but I was never fed the healthy stuff my mom would send with me.  Breakfast ended up being: corn flakes with tablespoons of sugar added on, lunch would be a cucumber and mayonnaise sandwich (heavy on the mayo) or a hot dog fried in bacon grease with chips and soda and many snacks like chips, cookies or ice cream bars.

Yes, after reading all of what I just wrote you are probably thinking, “hey fatty, it’s not your grandmother’s fault you are overweight!” and yes of course I’d agree with you, it’s no one’s fault but my own.  As I grew older I knew better than to eat such junk, but it continued.  My mother would never have anything such as junk food in the house when I was younger, I didn’t even know what Kool-Aid was until I was 15.  So, what did I do? I used my chore money to sneak little Debbie cakes or chips or both at lunchtime in school.  Whatever I could get my fat grubby fingers on really. 

 I started developing health problems such as PCOS, IBS and was told that I was ‘borderline’ diabetic.  My endocrinologist put me on metformin for the blood sugar issue and my GP put me on birth control to regulate my menstrual cycle.  I must give credit to my mom that through it all, she stuck by my side and encouraged and helped me in any way that she could. Honestly though, what teenager wants to have a breakfast composed of cottage cheese and fruit to make a not so smooth smoothie!? EVERY DAY! So, the journey continues. 

 A well-known pediatric gastroenterologist saw me due to my IBS issues when I was a junior in high school.  Before an exam was done or anything was discussed, he introduced himself and asked me when I wanted to schedule my surgery.  I looked at him as I could only image in the most confused and dazed look because he said to me, “your gastric bypass surgery.”  I immediately looked at my mother and said we are done here and got up and left.  He did not realize I didn’t go there to have surgery, but to find answers to my issues.  Although I do not prefer to exercise and eat healthy, I knew I could do anything I put my mind to. 

 Fast forward 5 years.  I was engaged to someone who portrayed he loved me and cared for me, but never encouraged me to get healthy.  He never had any healthy lifestyle encouragement as a child so how on earth did I expect him to be able to help and encourage me? Well, as most of you know love is blind and along with that I thought I could eat anything he could.  Pancakes for breakfast, Doritos and spray cheese in a can with pizza for lunch and and and…He never gained weight and he was a bean pole, so, why should I? That is when I got up to my heaviest.  One day I stepped on the scale and it read the absolute highest number on the scale that I had ever seen, way beyond what I ever even thought I weighed.  It had been a few years since I weighed myself and even though I knew I was “obese,” I never thought it had reached that level! 

 That day I knew I had to do something so I sought out a new diet fad program in my hometown that many people I knew were raving about.  I couldn’t believe the results that I was seeing! I would lose anywhere from 2-8 pounds per week!  Although I lost 70 pounds within a few months, that diet plan got old and expensive fast.  I don’t want to forget to mention also that the fad diet was composed of fake and unhealthy “food”, so even though I was losing weight how could it be healthy??? So, I dropped it and began to gain weight again, until one day I was pushing that number of extreme sadness, disappointment, anger…every emotion I could have felt.

 A few short months after I gained the weight back, my relationship ended in a whirlwind.  The life I had led for the last few years was over and I didn’t know how I would continue.  Being a strong willed and determined woman my family raised me to be, I picked myself up by the boot straps and forged on with love and support from my friends and family.  The first major life change I did after that relationship ended was apply to Chiropractic school, which I had put on hold to plan for a wedding.  Through the long days and nights of studying and exam after exam, I continued to maintain my weight.  Upon graduating from Chiropractic school there were many scary life changes that took place, almost losing my dad and moving back home to help take care of him for example, so again since I am a stress eater over the last 3 years I have eaten my way back up to almost my heaviest weight. 

 Now, for the last 11 months, I have been in a relationship with the most incredible man.  He has 3 children from his previous marriage and when we first started dating in July, the kids were 10, 9 and 7 years old.  You better believe that they are all active in school and extracurriculars so after working 9 hour days and having a commute time totaling an hour and a half and then going to wrestling matches, dance recitals, school functions, softball games and scout meetings, the last thing I want to do is cook dinner.  This is where it needs to begin though.  It begins with me, and even though it sometimes seems impossible and I’m exhausted, the lives and health of me and my fiancé and his children depends on me.  Jason and I grew up in households with families who express their love to people through cooking for them.  On our first valentine’s day, we agree to not get each other anything but we would spend time together.  He wanted me to make him chocolate amaretto cheesecake and I requested him to make chicken parmesan and crab legs (mmmmm!).  After the 11 months, I have gained about 20 pounds, now I really have love handles!

 It was last night that I decided it is time to do something about our weight, Jason is overweight too.  To live long happy lives together and for our children and future grandchildren, health starts now, today. It cannot wait any longer, so I have created this blog to document my journey, from when I was an 8-year-old chubby kid until who knows when.  Each day I come into my Chiropractic office I preach health to my patients, well if I’m going to preach health to them because I care about them, shouldn’t I follow my own advice? In all reality who really wants to take health advice from an overweight person who can’t even take control of her own health?  When I was thinking of appropriate titles, I thought back to every time I told myself and everyone around me, “I have the weekend to eat whatever and do whatever I want, I’ll start Monday.” Well every Monday for the last 29 years has come and gone with no results. So today, for me and my family, I vow to get up earlier to exercise and have me time to prepare a healthy meal plan for my family no matter how much of a struggle it is because they are worth it and I have realized that I’m worth it too. 

Yours in Health,

Kate   

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