November 28, 2015

What It Is Like to Live With Anxiety

How to Remain Calm in Life

By Dr. Saunders, M.D.

Sheri can hardly function in life because of a gripping fear of everything.  She lives in an apartment above the businesses in the center of town, but hasn’t left her apartment in over five years.  Everything is brought to her.  She shops online and on the Home Shopping Network.

A trip to her house is a trip indeed!  Boxes she has purchased remain unopened, stacked four feet high around the whole apartment.  There is a trail only six inches wide leading from the front door to the bed and from the bed to the bathroom and kitchen.  She tried to leave her apartment a year ago. But only made it to the front steps before she got a panic attack and had to run back inside.

When anxiety becomes a problemPanic is a type of severe anxiety from a sudden release of adrenal (stress) hormones.  Short or long-term stress produces large amounts of these hormones, causing severe anxiety. When this surge of stress hormones hit the body, people feel like they are going to die.

In a typical hospital emergency department, patients with severe anxiety often display symptoms of: chest pain, palpitations, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, and a fear of imminent death.  They get blood tests, EKGs, X-rays, and even cardiac catheters to determine if they are having a heart attack.  The symptoms of anxiety often mimic a heart attack.  But more than 80% of the time there is no sign of heart trouble. Many people are told, “It’s just a panic attack.”

Living with Anxiety

While panic attacks are the extreme, and happen to some people, anxiety is very common. In fact everyone feels anxiety at some point, like fear or trepidation.

  • Needles often provoke anxiety, such as before a vaccination or blood draw.
  • Others feel anxiety before a test, interview, or court case.
  • Most get anxious at the thought of public speaking. They get a dry mouth, sweaty palms, cold hands and feet, and palpitations of the heart.
  • Even professional speakers, businessmen, or giving speeches or presentations experience anxiety.

The worst effect of an anxiety attack is on the brain. It causes disorganized thinking and poor memory, making it harder to present material.  One speaker noted after many years of public speaking that the “butterflies” in his stomach didn’t go away; they just flew in formation.[1]

Anxiety with a threat of loss is normal. Situations that cause anxiety are common to all people.

The purpose of anxiety is to warn us of danger. A message of fear sends a signal to the adrenal glands that there is an emergency. We then release hormones from the adrenal glands such as adrenaline (epinephrine) and cortisol (cortisone) to help us get out of danger.

These stress hormones:

  • Increase our blood sugar and heart rate for quick energy.
  • Suppress our immune system and other “unnecessary” functions to protect our body.
  • Create a multitude of effects on the brain, including a sense of fear, danger, imminent death or foreboding, as well as loss of memory.

Their overall effect is an increase in circulation and energy to certain body systems and a downshift of less important ones into maintenance mode. In this way, the fight or flight response prepares the body for extreme action.

When there is danger our body doesn’t need to function at capacity. We just need to get out of danger!

However, even when there is no danger present, the adrenal glands release the stress hormones causing all the same symptoms.  This emergency response causes physical symptoms that many people misinterpret as a heart attack or other serious physical conditions. Misinterpreting these symptoms can cause anxiety and the fear response to continue.

Sheri would feel panic just from walking outside her door.  She had no control over the release of hormones or how she felt; it just happened.  She tried taking medications of all kinds, and received counseling, but nothing seemed to help at all.  She was stuck.

The ways we categorize anxiety disorders include:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is constant worry or fear.
  • Panic Disorder refers to those who get sudden panic attacks, feel out of control, or sense impending doom.
  • Social Phobia feels like continually being embarrassed in public.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is when fearful thoughts take control of one’s actions. People then “have to” do things to relieve the anxiety.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) refers to those who have had major trauma that brings on chronic anxiety.

Anxiety becomes a problem when:

  • You feel anxious most/all of the time for more than 6 months
  • Your level of anxiety is excessive and intense
  • Your anxiety is uncontrollable and disrupts your job, relationships, sleep and social life
  • Your behavior changes due to your level of anxiety – this could be anything from drinking lots of tea, finding it hard to breathe, not being able to leave the house, or performing repetitive rituals, such as counting to 10 before you do something

Generally, anxiety is not considered abnormal unless it affects the normal functioning of the person, such as their ability to work, play, interact with others, or sleep, and has been present more than six months. And, of course, there are levels of anxiety – mild to severe.

Symptoms of anxiety may include one or more of the following:

  • Fear
  • Worry
  • Shortness of breath, or unable to fill the lungs completely
  • Jumpiness and feeling on edge
  • Abdominal pain
  • Swallowing problems, like a lump in the throat
  • Stomach problems and difficulty digesting food
  • Headaches of all types
  • Sleep problems of all types
  • Palpitations of the heart
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Short-term memory problems
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Cold sweats
  • Frequent urination
  • Bad moods
  • Eating, drinking or smoking more than usual

Mainstream Medical Treatment for Anxiety

Since the beginning of time people have used alcohol to relieve anxiety.  Doctors call it “the drug of choice” for all types of anxiety and panic because people who have anxiety drink it. And those who have more anxiety, drink more.

  • For some, it works so well they become “addicted” to alcohol. If they stop drinking, then they feel lots of anxiety.
  • Others only use alcohol for occasional anxiety, or in the evening to relax after a stressful day at work.
  • Some try to use it to sleep, but it disturbs sleep.

While it’s effective for anxiety, the side effects of alcohol can be devastating, as most of us know.

Standard medical treatment to relieve anxiety includes medications that stimulate the receptors in the brain that induce calm.

Most anxiety drugs, such as the benzodiazepines, work on the GABA receptors.  Stimulating these receptors in the brain suppresses anxiety. Because GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, it slows down the brain function in certain areas. It works immediately, but for only a few hours. However, tolerance to its effects is easily developed. These medications, like Valium and similar drugs, work in much the same way as alcohol to numb anxiety.

Valium was a godsend for many.  In the 1960s they called it “mother’s little helper.” Valium allowed moms to be calm and relaxed with the children – without alcohol!  Doctors originally believed it was not addictive, and only caused some drowsiness. However, this is not the case.  Over time, people become tolerant to the level of stimulation provided by the drug and needed more.

When benzodiazepine treatment is stopped abruptly, patients may develop withdrawal symptoms.  Some benzodiazepines, like Valium, can even cause seizures from withdrawal.

Now, the benzodiazepines have become standard fare for all types of anxiety. I had a patient who found that a benzodiazepine worked so well she carried one pill around for over a year, “just in case” she got a panic attack. It helped her to relax, knowing that relief was available if she absolutely had to use it. She never did, and now doesn’t need it at all.

Other medical treatments that might help include antidepressants for anxiety. Most of these work on the serotonin receptors, which have a relaxing effect.  This makes sense on a chemical level. Serotonin is a key neurotransmitter that has an effect on multiple brain functions, including anxiety.

Others work on dopamine or norepinephrine receptors as well, such as the “major tranquilizers” or antipsychotic drugs.  The use of these for anxiety is becoming much more common.  Some people with anxiety prefer opiates like morphine, codeine, and the like.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to anxiety. People have different reasons for being anxious and display different anxiety symptoms, and therefore need different types of medications to relieve anxiety.

The primary problem with most of the medications used for anxiety is the same as with alcohol – they suppress all feeling and create numbness.  Using drugs to resolve feelings is always a gamble. This is especially true when people have anxiety because they report they “don’t feel anything.”   Some, of course, prefer to live this way. But many would like to try another way.

Determine the Cause of Anxiety

Medications may relieve anxiety symptoms for a short time. But they don’t take care of the problem, or address the cause of anxiety. The key to successfully treating anxiety is to find the cause(s) and remove them. There are many causes of anxiety:

  • many faces of anxietyExcessive stress, or change
  • Adrenal tumors
  • Pituitary tumors
  • Hypothalamic tumors
  • Hormone imbalances (such as low progesterone)
  • Ectopic adrenal production
  • Medication side-effects
  • Dietary indiscretion
  • Toxins such as heavy metals and pesticides
  • Nutrient deficiencies like B-vitamins, minerals, or amino acids
  • Thought disorders
  • Loss of foundation, or shock such as a sudden illness, loss of a loved-one, or accident

Once you find the cause of the problem, you can begin to change it at the roots, not just for temporary relief of anxiety symptoms. In looking at the list, it becomes apparent that this is no simple task. Some may require the help of a professional.

To end anxiety, follow the general recommendations and try each of the specific supplement and herb recommendations one at a time. 

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5 Steps to Lower Your Anxiety Now

How to Balance Hormones and Calm the Mind

by Amanda Box, N.D.

You can feel it rising. Like water it begins to pool around your feet. Then it slowly rises up your body until you are fully submerged, unable to breathe, drowning in your own fears.

This is how I describe my experience with anxiety. It is a feeling that I am too familiar with and one that many of you have suffered as well. Many people face regular bouts of anxiety that can profoundly affect their lives. They may be unable to work or have healthy social lives. For others, anxiety may be brought on by high pressure situations such as taking a test.

how I describe my anxietyWhatever the case may be, one thing’s for certain. Anxiety is absolutely paralyzing! It keeps us from experiencing the joys of our life, sets us up to fail and minimizes our greatest potentials.

The good news? You can beat anxiety in 5 steps! You can cut the chains that bind you and set yourself free for a life full of positivity and success!

There can be many underlying factors behind anxiety. Traumatic life events such a death of a loved one or financial problems can trigger anxiety in people who formerly led a happy productive life! This stress induced anxiety can snowball and disrupt the body to the point that hormonal changes and body imbalances begin to occur. Once specific hormones such as cortisol are out of balance, it is much like throwing gasoline on a fire. The frequency and strength of anxiety begins to increase and take over a person’s life.

Many people also struggle with anxiety, but because the symptoms don’t manifest in the more obvious ways such as irrational fears or impending doom, they don’t realize that anxiety is the culprit behind their health problems. When we stuff our feelings and don’t let them out, the built up stress can lead to anxiety which manifests in ways such as:

  • Tachycardia
  • Digestive issues
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Sleep disorders

These symptoms often resolve themselves once the underlying stress and anxiety is properly addressed. Stress itself is the cause of 75-90% of all disease! It is imperative to address and relieve stress in order to live a healthy long life!

The Role of Cortisol with Anxiety

Addressing the root cause and imbalance behind anxiety can calm the mind and body to bring true relief from symptoms. One of the most common body imbalances that occurs with anxiety has to do with cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenal glands in response to fear or stress as part of the fight-or-flight reaction.

Often referred to as our stress hormone, cortisol is responsible for three major functions that keep our body in balance during times of stress:

  • Raising blood sugar
  • Increasing blood pressure
  • Regulating inflammation

Cortisol and anxiety have a cyclical relationship. When you experience anxiety, which is a form of stress, you automatically release cortisol. However, having excess cortisol in the body can cause anxiety and contribute to anxiety attacks! Your cortisol imbalance may have caused your anxiety, but your anxiety may also have caused your cortisol imbalance.

When cortisol levels build up in the blood, your mind and body are profoundly affected. If you struggle with anxiety, I’m sure those symptoms sound very familiar!

  • High levels of cortisol can lead to a nervous stomach, jitters, feelings of panic, and even paranoia.
  • High levels of cortisol also suppress the production of serotonin, which leads to feelings of loss of hope and depression.

Failing to manage stress in your life will lead to increased cortisol production and ultimately cause anxiety.

most common symptoms of high cortisol levelsCortisol is typically released in a regular, timed fashion or rhythm that repeats daily. In a healthy person, cortisol is highest in the morning helping us to wake up and be alert and energetic. It begins to taper off throughout the day and by evening melatonin is released which helps us to sleep.

When anxiety sounds the alarm, our body releases cortisol and becomes ready for action. However, without an actual release of a physical flight or fight action, cortisol builds up in the blood. Over time, chronically high cortisol levels begin to negatively affect our bodies. Some of the most common symptoms of high cortisol levels include:

  • Digestive issues
  • Impaired circulation
  • Disrupted sleep/wake cycles
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Low sex drive
  • Depressed mood

Lowering Your Cortisol Levels Naturally

Bringing your cortisol down to a healthy, balanced level is key in overcoming anxiety.

There are 5 steps to lower your cortisol levels that are both safe and extremely effective. Adding even one of these steps into your daily routine can make a big difference. However, incorporating all 5 of these steps will help you achieve maximum anxiety reducing results

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The 2 Week Healthy Skin Cleanse


Skin care is big business.

  • Dermatologists book appointments at least a month out.
  • Stores line aisle upon aisle with skin care products.
  • Infomercials rave about the latest new incredible skin saving formulas.

Yet even with the latest youth serum, dermatology treatments, and skin care prescriptions, our skin still suffers. Skin creams and prescriptions bring little relief to skin difficulties such as rosacea, acne and chronically dry skin. Furthermore, the effects of youth serums and injections may give the illusion of fewer fine lines and wrinkles, yet the results are merely temporary.

healthy skin cleanseThe key to clear and vibrant skin isn’t contained in a jar…it lays on your plate.  Click to Tweet.

This healthy eating plan and lifestyle change clears the detoxification channels inside your body and leaves you with glowing skin. The purpose of this detox is to eliminate waste and flush toxins from your body so you have supple, clear and youthful skin. The key nutrients in certain foods can also protect your skin from the inside out by:

  • Balancing your hormones
  • Boosting your metabolism
  • Maximizing the efficiency of your eliminatory organs

Following this plan yields positive changes not only for your skin, but also for your entire well-being!

Eating for Healthy Skin

What you put inside your body is reflected by your skin. This makes the food you eat an absolute priority for maintaining healthy skin. Eating fast foods, processed meals, and sugar is akin to dumping toxic waste into your body. These things slow your metabolism and overburden your detoxification system. Your skin reveals the evidence of the foods you eat. Dry, dull and irritated skin declares your poor food choices.

On the other hand, healthy nutrient based foods support healthy skin In a variety of ways:

  • Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants help fight free radicals that cause aging.
  • Healthy fats and proteins support collagen formation and prevent dryness and wrinkles.
  • Water, herbal drinks and supplements flush toxins out of our system to keep skin free from acne and irritation.

The 2 Week Healthy Skin Cleanse

Healthy skin may require a lifestyle change in eating habits. However, giving yourself a jumpstart may be what your body needs to transition to healthy skin. I have put together a two-week plan that I believe will bring you results that would otherwise take months to achieve. If you want to fast track healthy skin, give your body energy or just make healthy choices, then follow this safe and do-able program.

There are 3 essential steps to this 2-week healthy skin cleanse:

  • Skin nourishing foods and drinks
  • Detoxifying supplements
  • Daily exercising and skin brushing

You can achieve beautiful skin results if you accomplish all 3 steps. Don’t take shortcuts or you won’t get the results you’re looking for! This plan may seem strict or inconvenient at first. It will also require some planning and preparation. But, I assure you that bright, glowing skin is worth it! Push through and you’ll see your skin transform!

healthy fats prevent wrinklesDuring this two-week jump-start cleanse, the most important aspect will be your diet. I designed this plan to cleanse your body of accumulated toxins. Your skin is your largest eliminatory organ, therefore toxins inside your body have the potential to come out through your pores and create skin issues. This makes eating foods that facilitate detoxification extremely important.

There are several foods that you CANNOT consume during this two-week plan. These foods cause congestion in the body and the skin, as well as disruption to the detoxification process.

Think of your skin like a sprinkler system. The underground pipes represent your lymph system and the sprinkler heads represent your pores. Eating congestive foods is like adding debris in the water line. At first the debris may only slow the flow of the water, but over time it completely blocks the water’s ability to escape! Congestive foods clog the skin’s natural system of elimination. This creates a toxic buildup, which in turn results in premature aging, irritated skin, and skin eruptions such as acne.

Following the two-week cleanse, you may incorporate some of these foods back into your diet. However, take note to eat only limited amounts given their ability to trigger further skin issues.

Foods to Avoid:

  • Dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.)
  • Wheat (other grains should be eaten very sparingly)
  • Sugar (in all forms, including honey)
  • Caffeine
  • White potatoes
  • Bananas (because they have a high sugar content)
  • Soy

During the two weeks, limit fruit to only 2 servings a day. Also eliminate high carbohydrate vegetables entirely due to their excess sugar. Sugar attaches to collagen in our skin through a process called glycation. When sugar attaches, skin  inflammation occurs and produces enzymes that break down collagen. Collagen is the connective tissue that holds our joints together and keeps the skin elastic.

When collagen breaks down, our skin becomes dull and brittle; wrinkles are a result. Sugar exacerbates acne, as well. Surges of insulin create imbalances in the body, leading to inflammation and acne. The constant rise and fall of blood sugar also disrupts hormone levels, which influence acne breakouts as well.

This plan eliminates grains, aside from a small serving of quinoa each day. This again is due to carbohydrates’ destruction of the skin. Gluten from wheat and other grains contain sticky proteins, which are difficult to digest, and also lead to skin inflammation and skin breakouts.

Dairy can also cause skin issues in many people. Pasteurized milk congests the body’s system and promotes mucus production. Furthermore, hormones to increase production given to cows end up in the milk itself and have been proven in studies to cause acne.[1]

Raw milk is tolerable for many people, as is goat’s milk. You can add these back into the diet after the initial two weeks.

Soy products may seem like a great vegetarian protein option to some. However, the effects of soy on the body are far from healthy. Soy mimics estrogen and promotes hormonal breakouts. Avoiding soy not only prevents skin issues, but also prevents future health issues…such as infertility and cancer! Not to mention that all soy is genetically modified.

Caffeine can also promote hormone disruption by increasing cortisol, the stress hormone. Stress and acne have always had direct connection because of cortisol’s presence. Cortisol increases inflammation in the body, which results in acne and premature aging of the skin.

Although I am a big believer of plenty of healthy fat in the diet, limit fatty foods during this cleanse to help give your liver a much-needed break. After the cleanse, feel free to increase your daily healthy fat intake with coconut oil, olive oil, fish oil or avocados. These healthy fats are essential for skin moisture and suppleness.

The foods recommended for this 2 week skin cleanse help promote:

  • Hydration of the skin
  • Detoxification of the skin, as well as the body’s cells and systems
  • Increase in skin collagen and elastin
  • Reduction of inflammation-based breakout and skin issues

Recommended Foods

  • Unlimited vegetables (excluding carb based, white potatoes and corn)
  • Fruits (2 servings a day only)
  • Eggs (free-range or organic)
  • Chicken (free range or organic)
  • Lean beef (grass-fed or organic)
  • Lamb, veal, and fish
  • Healthy fat (1 tbsp coconut oil per day, olive oil for sautéing)
  • Quinoa or brown rice (½ cup per day only)
  • Lemons or lime (for daily lemon water)
  • Raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • Dandelion tea
  • Green tea
  • Raw almonds (2 tbsp a day only)
  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Full cream coconut milk (2 tbsp a day)
  • Bone broth
  • Gelatin
  • Sugar free rice or whey protein powder
  • Stevia

Healthy Skin Cleanse Instructions

You will begin each day with a liver cleansing drink. Mix water with the juice of half a lemon and drink this on an empty stomach. The lemon stimulates bile flow and encourages liver detoxification. This is a great way to kick-start digestion and cleanse the system.

Fifteen to thirty minutes after drinking your lemon water, eat a protein based breakfast. This is typically an egg dish or protein shake.

The cleanse includes a morning snack followed by lunch, an afternoon snack, and dinner. Some great snacks during the cleanse include:

  • 1 serving of fruit
  • 2 tbsp raw almonds
  • 1 hard-boiled egg
  • Veggie sticks with fresh salsa

Lunch and dinner are always served with a glass of bone broth, which is rich in collagen, amino acids and skin enhancing minerals. You can drink unlimited amounts of bone broth throughout the day or whenever you feel hungry. Store bought gelatin can also be mixed into a smoothie or water for a great source of collagen and protein. I recommend Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate, available HERE.

A sample day is as follows:

  • 6:30 am: 1 cup filtered water with ½ squeezed lemon
  • 7:00 am: Omelet with eggs, spinach, onion, and mushrooms or a protein shake (1 scoop protein powder, ⅛ cup frozen berries, 1 tbsp gelatin, stevia and 1 cup unsweetened almond milk)
  • 9:00 am: 1 tbsp almond butter with an apple
  • 12:00pm: Mediterranean Chicken Stir fry (recipe below) with 1 cup bone broth
  • 3:00 pm: ½ grapefruit
  • 6:00 pm: Crockpot carne asada in lettuce wraps (recipe below) with 1 cup bone broth

Hydration is key to detoxification, so be sure to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water each day.

Water benefits the skin by:

  • Hydrating skin cells, which prevents wrinkles and dry skin
  • Encouraging the lymph system to circulate and flush toxins out of the system
  • Supporting kidney detoxification by flushing out toxic waste

Healthy Skin Detoxifying Supplements

detoxifying herbs for healthy skinDetoxification benefits the skin by preventing bodily toxic wastes from accumulating under the skin’s layers, which clog pores and damage healthy skin cells. Adding detoxifying supplements to your cleanse can help speed the detoxification process, help curb caffeine and sugar cravings and facilitate more dramatic results for your skin.

The herbs I recommend during the 2 week healthy skin cleanse include:

Dandelion Root

This well-known “weed” has some amazing benefits for the body. Dandelion stimulates bile flow, promoting liver detoxification. The release of bile is laxative, and accelerates the breakdown of various steroid hormones, causing an indirect, favorable effect on eczema and other skin conditions. It also acts as a mild diuretic and encourages flushing toxins and removal of excess hormones from the kidneys, including those that trigger acne breakouts. Dandelion root also helps the body dispose of unwanted skin bacteria.

For those of you who love to have morning coffee, there is an amazing alternative called Dandy Blend. It is a roasted dandelion coffee alternative that tastes like real coffee!

Dandelion root is one of the best “spring cleansing” herbs, making it the perfect drink for healthy skin! Click to Tweet.

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is named for the milky sap that oozes from its leaves. This powerful liver detoxifier contains active components that not only encourage liver detoxification, but also promote liver cell regeneration!

Researchers from the University of Colorado Cancer Center explain that when a cell is damaged by UV radiation, it must be repaired or killed so that it cannot go on to cause cancer. Their research shows that the milk thistle extract does both.

This means that milk thistle not only protects the liver, it helps heal damage done to the liver from its years of hard work.

Red Clover

This herb is well-known for it’s blood detoxifying properties and it’s ability to heal inflammation of the skin, producing radiant, healthy skin. Red clover also helps balance hormones in the body, which reduces breakouts and premature aging. Red Clover retards the process of skin aging due to its estrogen-like effects and helps maintain youthful and vibrant skin. It also ensures appropriate skin thickness and healthy keratinization and vascularity of the skin.

Burdock Root

A powerful astringent root, burdock expels toxic products from the blood through the urine. It also contains natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties giving it the ability to calm skin irritations and acne. Burdock is an excellent preventative for common skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma. It is used in Russia and India for cases of cancer as many herbalist claim it has the ability to stop cancer from metastasizing.[2]

Exercise and Skin Brushing for Clear, Healthy Skin

A well-functioning lymphatic system is foundational for clear, healthy skin. The lymph system acts like a trash service by transporting toxic waste out of the body. Lymph fluid lies right below the skin’s surface. It is constantly cleaning cells and dumping toxins into the blood in order to keep the body clean. When overloaded with toxins, the lymph system becomes sluggish and the skin suffers. If the lymph system isn’t moving properly, toxic wastes sit below the skin causing irritation to the skin cells. Acne, skin inflammation, and even cellulite can result from a sluggish lymph system. By stimulating the lymph to move and circulate cellular wastes out of the body, you naturally improve skin health!

One of the best ways to stimulate the lymph system is through exercise. Brisk walking, rebounding and swimming are great exercises to keep the lymph moving. The lymph system needs stimulation in order to move. Sitting all day creates a stagnant lymph system, which leads to a build-up of wastes. Take 20 minutes each day during the 2 week healthy skin cleanse to exercise and promote lymph circulation.

Skin brushing is another great method to stimulate the lymph system. It stimulates circulation and also exfoliates dry skin. Skin brushing also clears clogged pores and leaves skin soft and smooth. Skin brushing is performed on dry skin and requires a special stiff bristle brush designed for this purpose.

I recommend brushing once a day body prior to showering. This will help wash away the dead skin cells and wastes off the surface after brushing.

The key to skin brushing is to always brush toward your heart. This is best for circulation and your lymphatic system. Brush your entire body starting at your feet and working up your legs to your arms, chest, back and stomach. Avoid brushing your face because the bristles are too harsh for delicate facial skin.

Benefits of Clay Baths for Soft, Clean, Youthful Skin

Benefits of clay bathsClay has been used for centuries to absorb toxins in the human body.Many different tribes would eat clay along with their meals as a natural food poisoning preventative.

Ingesting clay absorbs toxic microbes present in undercooked or spoiled food. Click to Tweet.

Bentonite clay, in particular, contains the innate ability to absorb toxins not only inside the body, but also topically through the skin. This unique clay carries a strong negative electrical charge that attracts the positive charge of many toxins. When used on the skin or in a bath, it will pull toxins and heavy metals out of the skin’s pores. Using clay baths during your two-week cleanse will increase detoxification, soften your skin and decrease skin inflammation.

During the healthy skin cleanse, take two clay baths a week, using 2 cups of clay in a tub full of hot water. Soak in the tub covering as much of your body as possible for 15-30 minutes.

Clay footbaths are also an alternative to a full body clay bath. Just add 1 cup of bentonite clay to a basin filled with six inches of hot water. Relax and soak your feet for 15-30 minutes.

Bentonite clay is such an amazing “magnet” for toxins, that you can actually feel it pulling them out through your skin! I have taken many clay baths and I am always surprised to feel such a strong pulling sensation. It’s very reassuring to actually feel it working!

Bentonite clay has anti-aging properties, as well. It helps increase oxygenation in cells by pulling out excess hydrogen. This allows the cells to replace the hydrogen with more youth enhancing oxygen instead. Get your detoxing bentonite clay HERE.

A study from Arizona State University found bentonite clay to be highly effective at killing MRSA, as well as salmonella, E. coli and others infectious bacteria![3] This is a tremendous discovery because strains of bacteria, like MRSA, can be highly resistant to antibiotics.

Creating a clay poultice of bentonite clay and applying it to wounds can be more effective than antibiotic ointments! Click to Tweet.

Eating for Healthy Skin 

This two-week skin renewing cleanse can be life changing not only for your skin, but the overall health of your body. It may feel challenging at first to make the necessary dietary changes, but your body will begin to crave the nutrients contained in these skin enhancing foods. Once you have things running smoothly on the inside, revitalized skin will show on the outside.

I encourage you not to stop after the two weeks are over. Once you’ve got a clean slate, so to speak, maintain it. You may add other foods back into your diet, but I urge you not to stray from the nutritional foundations of this plan. This nutrient dense diet is designed for optimal health and well-being. It will increase your energy levels, facilitate healthy weight, and promote daily detoxification.

Below are two recipes for delicious meals you can include in your skin cleansing plan, as well as the recipe for skin supporting bone broth. If you are in need of other recipes, I encourage you to surf the internet and websites like Pinterest to find new and exciting ideas that utilize the foods allowed on this plan.

The popular Whole 30 diet and Paleo diet both include many of the same principles and foods as the healthy skin cleanse. Don’t be afraid to experiment, be sure to keep the list of foods-to-avoid as a reference.

Skin Supporting Bone Broth

skin supporting bone broth recipeIngredients:

  • 1-2 lbs. beef bones, chicken carcasses, lamb bones (usually free from the butchers or use the saved bones from roast chicken or beef)
  • A splash of apple cider vinegar (optional – this can help to extract the minerals from the meat bones)
  • 2 handfuls of any onions, leeks, carrots or celery ends
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • A few dried bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 4 cloves garlic


  1. Place the bones and other ingredients into a large stainless steel or ceramic cooking pot and cover with cold water. The water level should cover the bones by ½ inch while still leaving room at the top of the pan.
  2. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, lid on, skimming off any foam that rises to the top. The longer the bones simmer, the more nutrients are released. Cook chicken bones for 12 hours until the bones begin to crumble and beef bones for 24 hours.
  3. Strain the liquid, using a fine mesh strainer for poultry. Use immediately or leave to cool before storing (preferably in glass/ceramic rather than plastic).


  • You can also use a slow cooker. Just cook on high for 12 hours or more.
  • Beef bones produce a lot of nutritious fat – skim some of it and save it for roasting vegetables.[4]
  • Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to three days, or freeze the stock in a glass container.

Mediterranean Chicken Stir fry


  • 2-3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 zucchini, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, cut into small pieces
  • 14 oz. can artichoke, cut into small pieces
  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In large oven safe skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Sear the chicken breast on both sides until golden brown.
  3. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
  4. In another skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add zucchini and cook until zucchini is just cooked through. Add peppers, artichokes and olives. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Slice the chicken and toss with the veggie mix.[5]

Crock-Pot Carne Asada Lettuce Wraps

steak lettuce wraps recipe for optimal digestion and healthy skinCarne Asada Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. steak
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tbs minced garlic (about 4 cloves, chopped)
  • 2-3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/3 cup bone broth
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tbs cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Lettuce leaves (butter lettuce, romaine, or iceberg)
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Salsa
  • Lime wedges
  • Cilantro


  1. Rinse off your steak and pat it dry.
  2. Liberally cover it with salt, pepper on either side. Set aside.
  3. Chop up your onions and tomatoes.
  4. In the bottom of your crock-pot, add your bone broth.
  5. Place your steak on top of the broth and cover your steak with the onion, tomatoes, and garlic.
  6. Add the lime juice, pouring it evenly over the whole mixture, then the chili powder, cumin and cayenne.
  7. Set your crock-pot on a low setting and cook for 6-8 hours.
  8. Once it is done, shred your beef and serve it on a lettuce cup with your favorite toppings!

Don’t put your hope in the latest skin creams and concoctions any longer. Take the time to cleanse your body from the inside out and watch your skin transform before your eyes.

The fountain of youth isn’t found inside a bottle; it’s contained in the nutritious, revitalizing, and purifying foods you put inside your body. Click to Tweet.

Clear, vibrant, and younger looking skin is just two weeks away!

If you liked this article, then you’ll love these:


Amanda Box, N.D.Amanda Box is a Traditional Naturopath and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 12 years and currently practices naturopathic consulting in the Kansas City, Missouri area. Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic practitioner to turn to for your personal needs, Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at for contact info.



[4] Adapted from
[5]Adapted from

Solution Guide to Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Robin had to move several times in the past two years because she is so sensitive. Her first house in Santa Barbara had a lot of new work done. There was an addition put on with new carpeting, which she found was leaching formaldehyde. So, she had to leave.

Robin then moved to a “clean” condominium with wood floors and all-natural furniture. But, the gardeners were spraying weed-killer and fertilizer – so she had to move again.

This time, she moved to another home where she could control her environment. Unfortunately, the next-door neighbor was covering her garden with bug spray, which drifted over the fence. This made Robin feel fatigued and ill.

debilitating MCS reactionFinally, Robin moved out of town. But thanks to industrialization, chemical toxicity is everywhere. If only avoidance were as simple as it sounds. For Robin, it is almost impossible to navigate the world without being immersed in tens of thousands of potentially troublesome human-made chemicals to which she reacts.

Chemical companies no longer deny that chemicals accumulate in our bodies, simply by virtue of being alive. While the too-low concentrations of those chemicals supposedly exist to cause any harm, MCS would suggest otherwise. The brutal sensitivity to the cumulative effects of these interacting chemicals causes extreme suffering. These can begin to have many adverse symptoms that slow or prevent normal functions of the body. People with MCS can be sensitive to anything, and it can change over time, trapping them in a modern, chemical world.

Medical Doctors and MCS

Mainstream medicine doesn’t recognize MCS as a real disease, having failed to agree on a case definition for the disease. This makes getting a diagnosis a battle. Many doctors consider it an emotional or psychological problem.

Studies have failed to recognize any consistency in symptoms, diagnosis, or treatment. A person with MCS may have reactions to a chemical at one time, and not another. Furthermore, different people respond differently to each type of chemical stimulus. Moreover, both the severity of the reaction and the types of sensitivities change over time.[1]

The problem with the way we do research is that by using groups of people we assume they are similar, when, in this case, none of them are. The factors responsible for MCS are numerous, including the function of multiple enzymes and detox pathways, as well as the burden of various toxins already in the body. All of this changes continuously, making quantification of sensitivity very difficult.

What is Multiple Chemical Sensitivity?

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is just what the name implies. People are sensitive to many things in their environment, food, or even their own waste. This is brought on by a broad array of everyday chemicals. Exposure levels far below those that seem to affect the rest of the population provoke the symptoms.

The experience of each person is constantly changing, due to the environment. These are better and worse over time, due to a wide range of toxins. MCS has been equated to other problems including:

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sick building syndrome
  • Gulf war syndrome (GWS)

Symptoms of MCS may include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Joint pain
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Sleep problems
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Food intolerances
  • Difficulty breathing

These and other symptoms may come on during exposure to certain substances, and they go away when avoiding problem chemicals and exposure.[2]

Causes of MCS

Of course, a multi-factorial illness will not have a single cause. There are many factors which lead to this problem, most of which may include:

  • Drugs
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Poor digestion of food
  • Yeast overgrowth
  • Inadequate absorption of nutrients
  • Leaky gut syndrome
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Stress
  • Genetic detoxification weaknesses
  • Dysbiosis (bad bacteria in the intestines)
  • Immune dysfunction
  • Emotional factors
  • Celiac disease
  • Viral infections
  • Previous chemical exposures
  • Heavy metals
  • Food allergies

MCS Diagnosis

While we can test for the problems above, none of the tests are diagnostic for MCS. People may test positive for Leaky Gut Syndrome, for example, but do not have MCS. Diagnosing MCS is purely clinical. It’s the patient who comes in with the diagnosis, having noticed that they are sensitive to many different things.

  • Some of these sensitivities may be perfectly natural, such as an actual deficiency in amino acids due to incomplete breakdown of proteins in the digestive system.
  • Others may be sensitive to toxic substances such as alcohol, dyes, or pesticides.
  • Still others are sensitive to smells. The actual molecule that stimulates the olfactory (smell) system isn’t big enough to create an immune reaction. However, even natural perfumes may create a debilitating reaction.

Since these sensitivities are not usually created by the immune system, they are not true allergies. This is why allergy testing is not useful. Moreover, the actual sensitivity may change over time. For all these reasons, we rely on the patient to notice environmental triggers of their symptoms.

The Shoe Factory

Karen had MCS for a couple of years as a result of her job in a shoe factory. After working there several months, she began to notice that when she went to work she got tired and achy. She would get fatigued. She began to have headaches and dizziness. Her eyes hurt, and she would get shortness of breath with only walking.

Since she was in her 30s and usually active, she wondered why this only happened at work. After a period of time, she found that when she just walked into the building she would immediately start feeling her symptoms. She thought she must be crazy, and maybe she was just stressed at work, but she liked her job, and was generally happy there.

After months of getting worse, she finally was unable to go to work, and decided to take a leave of absence so she went out on disability. It took about six months of treatment for her to feel normal again, but when she tried to go back, she got the same symptoms. She had to quit her job, and find another that allowed her to be away from the glues and offgassing of the shoe factory.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Treatment

So, this begs the question about getting relief from MCS. Do people really have to move multiple times, avoid contact with others, leave their work, severely limit their diet, or live in a bubble all their lives? No.

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Natural Relief for Joint Pain

Do you struggle to get out of bed in the morning because of stiffness?  Do your knees ache?  Maybe the simple task of writing a letter is just too painful.  These aches and pains are not normal and should never be overlooked.

Arthritis is often in the headlines and gets a lot of attention as the primary reason for most joint pain. However, there are many other possible causes of your muscle pain, joint stiffness, and joint popping. These other contributors may not get as much press, but they can be just as common in contributing to joint pain.

Our joints, unfortunately, can be quite susceptible to both damage and inflammation.  They can also be affected by something as ambiguous as hormonal imbalances in the body.  Because of the different possible causes, there is no one size fits all prescription for joint pain.  Simply put, not all joint pain is created equal. But, finding the root issue is truly the first step towards freedom and pain relief!

joint painSome of the common and less talked about reasons for joint pain include:

  • Hormonal changes (thyroid, adrenal, menopausal, etc.)
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Gout
  • Carpal tunnel (wrist joint pain specifically)

Getting a Diagnosis

When you are unsure of the cause of your joint pain, it is wise to make a trip to your doctor or practitioner’s office for blood work and a physical evaluation.  But before you go, it is wise ask yourself these questions to help diagnose the problem.

  1. When did the pain start?  Did anything specific happen in your life happen during this time period like an injury or change in job or family life?
  2. Does the pain change with the weather or seasons?
  3. Is there anything causing significant stress in your life?
  4. What is your family’s health history?

The answers to these questions can help point your doctor in the right direction in diagnosing the problem.  Many times we overlook or are unaware of possible causes that may be quite clear to our doctor or practitioner.

Knowing if you have underlying health issues that are affecting your joints is important to prevent unnecessary treatments and drugs.  True healing cannot occur by only medicating the symptoms.  Plus, you may see other health problems resolve when the true problem is corrected.

For example, if you have a thyroid issue, then you don’t want to address the joints, but rather the root thyroid problem. In this particular situation, isolating the joint pain with treatment isn’t a long-term solution. It would only inhibit healing where the body truly needs it: the thyroid.

Again, doctors and other health practitioners are trained at interpreting both your symptoms and lab work.  This is why it is important for you to be very clear about everything you’ve been feeling, both emotionally and physically. Stress alone is known to be a common culprit of joint pain. If lowering your stress is the answer, then why waste your money on expensive drugs?

It might even be helpful to keep a pain symptom chart for a few weeks.

  • Does pain occur after a particular activity?
  • When did the joint stiffness first occur?
  • Did the pain come suddenly or over time?
  • Has the pain intensified or moved to any other joints?

Once you know the true cause, it is time to weigh your options and minimize any joint damage.  In most instances, a doctor will offer you some sort of prescription medication to remedy your ailment.  However, most prescription drugs for modifying joint pain also hail a plethora of harmful side-effects, including:

  • joint pain drugs side effectsLow white blood cell count (increasing your risk of infection)
  • Serious birth defects
  • High blood pressure
  • Bone marrow toxicity

You can take other more natural, safe and effective treatment steps to remedy joint pain. Below, I will help you navigate through the possible contributors to joint pain and their natural remedies.

Hormonal Changes and Joint Pain

Hormonal shifts and fluctuations in the body can contribute to joint pain.  If the hormonal imbalance isn’t addressed, then the side-effect of joint pain can be quite common.  This is because as we age, hormone levels can drop. This is especially common in women.  Hormone induced joint pain can be caused by:

  • Low thyroid function (hypothyroidism)
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Menopause

Hypothyroidism and Joint Pain

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid is not producing an adequate amount of thyroid hormones for the body, which can cause:

  • Weight gain
  • Intense fatigue
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • And even intense joint pain

It can often be difficult to distinguish between pain associated with hypothyroidism and rheumatoid arthritis.  This is again is why getting a proper diagnosis is so important.

Joint pain from hypothyroidism can manifest in the neck, shoulders, knees, and smaller joints of the hands and feet. Click to tweet this.

However, pain relief can be relieved once the thyroid is in proper balance again.  There are naturally sourced prescription thyroid medications called Amour and Nature-throid.  You may have to specifically request these natural replacements since the synthetic versions are typically prescribed.

Others with a more mild thyroid condition find great relief from thyroid boosting supplements.  These supplements generally contain iodine and l-tyrosine, which are both important for thyroid function.  My favorite supplement is Europharma’s Thyroid Care.  However, there are several other wonderful formulas on the market.  Check your local health food store for their recommendations.

Adrenal Fatigue and Joint Pain

One of the most under-diagnosed yet common health issues today is adrenal fatigue.  Although it is becoming more accepted amongst medical professions, some doctors have stated that there is no such thing as adrenal fatigue. I strongly disagree. Adrenal fatigue is a result of an overstressed body.  Some have even deemed it The Stress Syndrome.

When your body is under prolonged or chronic stress, your adrenals will continuously produce cortisol and adrenaline.  Going long stretches without sleeping and using caffeine as a source of energy are also contributors to adrenal fatigue.  This constant release of stress combating hormones eventually leaves the adrenals depleted and fatigued.  This in turn causes a state of constant fatigue.

In persons with adrenal fatigue, weak muscles can also result.  Many of the muscles affected are in the legs.  The basic job of these muscles is to stabilize our joints.  When our joints aren’t held stable, pain results.

Tweet: Those with adrenal fatigue typically battle knee, ankle, and foot pain. Lower back pain is also quite common. Click to tweet this.

Resolving adrenal fatigue is not a quick fix.  You must be dedicated to both eating well and finding ways to safely combat the stress in your life.  The basic steps in overcoming adrenal fatigue are:

  • Lowering carbohydrate intake
  • Eliminating white sugar completely
  • Eliminating caffeine intake
  • Increasing protein intake
  • Getting adequate sleep (8 hours a night minimum)
  • Taking a quality multivitamin and adrenal supplement (I recommend Europharma Adrenaplex)
  • Finding a safe and effective stress outlet (prayer, meditation, yoga, etc.)
  • Exercising, as well, is essential!

I personally battle adrenal fatigue and suffered many of the symptoms, including joint pain.  I am now pain free and have far more energy.  It is worth taking the time towards recovery!

Menopause and Joint Pain

Studies have found that lower levels of estrogen in the body can aggravate joint pain.  This is especially common during menopause as estrogen levels begin to plummet.  Some women have pain relief once they’ve completed menopause and their hormones have settled.  However, many women have found substantial relief with natural hormone replacement therapy and estrogen mimicking supplements.

Since estrogen increases the risk of certain cancers, it is always best to follow your doctor’s guidelines closely and take the lowest dose needed to reduce your symptoms.  Bio-identical hormones are becoming quite popular and are much safer than the synthetic versions.  Bio-identical estrogen creams and patches are the most common forms of administration.

Many women have also found relief by taking estrogen-like supplements such as black cohosh and flax. These supplements do not actually contain estrogen, but have substances that act like estrogen in the body. These can be purchased at your local health food store and are far less expensive than bio-identical estrogen.

Gout and Joint Pain

Technically referred to as a form of arthritis, gout affects millions of people leaving them miserable and in severe pain.  The good news, however, is out of all the joint issues, gout seems to be the easiest to treat!

Gout is inflammation in the joints from an accumulation of uric acid crystals.  It can cause intense pain and inflammation and often affects the big toe.  Treating gout naturally involves:

  • Avoiding uric acid producing foods
  • Consuming foods that neutralize uric acid

Foods high in purines break down into uric acid in the body thereby increasing the occurrence of gout.  Common foods with high purine levels include:

  • Seafood
  • Red meat
  • Beer
  • Soda
  • Asparagus
  • Organ meats

If you’re battling gout, then try to avoid these foods are eat them very sparingly.

Instead, beginning consuming more water to flush out the uric acid to reverse gout.  Increase consumption of cherry juice, as well.  Cherries contain compounds that block the reabsorption of uric acid and instead increase uric acid excretion via the urine.  They also contain anthocyanins, which are anti-inflammatory.  I’ve seen amazing results when people eliminated uric acid producing foods and begin drinking cherry juice on a daily basis.  It is simple, inexpensive, and extremely effective at treating joint pain caused by gout!

Carpal Tunnel and Joint Pain

Carpal tunnel is a painful condition that primarily affects the wrist.  It is typically brought on by years of repetitive movement and affects women three times more often than men.  There is also a less common, yet similar syndrome in the ankle called tarsal tunnel.

Carpal tunnel joint pain is caused by inflammation or pressure on the medial nerve.  This nerve controls sensation to the thumb and first three fingers.  Over times it can progress to severe pain, numbness in the fingers and thumb, and an inability to grip objects.

Carpal tunnel can be properly diagnosed using several physical tests.  Once diagnosed, a wrist-brace or even surgery may be suggested.

However, many have found pain relief from natural supplements and vitamins in quelling the pain of carpal tunnel.  Acupuncture is also a great alternative that can bring significant relief.

Some of the most common supplements for carpal tunnel include:

  • B6 – Studies have found a possible correlation between B6 deficiency and carpal tunnel.  A typical dose for carpal tunnel is 50 mg 2-3 times a day. (1)
  • Arnica – A homeopathic used typically for trauma, swelling, and bruising.  Arnica has also shown to improve carpal tunnel swelling and pain.  Follow the dosing directions on the bottle.
  • Systemic Enzymes – These enzymes help tremendously with tissue swelling.  It may take a few weeks to see results so stick with it.  A great brand to purchase is Wobenzym.
  • Curamin – The base of this product is curcumin, which is the active component of the herb turmeric.  The makers of Curamin use a specialized extraction process making their curcumin 20X stronger than your typical curcumin product.  They also blend it with other anti-inflammatory ingredients like boswellia making it quite possibly the best natural anti-inflammatory on the market.  I have personally heard the testimonies from happy customers.  The formulator of the product personally told me that a double dose could be used in the beginning to put out the fire of inflammation.  After 3-7 days, you can begin weaning down to a maintenance dose that works for you.

Although joint pain is really quite common, it doesn’t have to be normal.  You aren’t doomed to suffer from joint pain!  Finding balance in your body with the use of natural supplements and a healthy diet can prevent and even quell that unnecessary joint pain.

Do you suffer from joint pain?  What do you think is the contributor to that pain?  What steps do you plan to implement in eliminating that pain?


Amanda BoxAmanda Box is a Traditional  Naturopath and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 12 years and currently practices naturopathic consulting in the Kansas City, Missouri area.  Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic practitioner to turn to for your personal needs, Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at for contact info.




Home Cures That Work for Low Testosterone

By Dr. Scott Saunders

Last week, Mitchell and Tracy came in for their test results.  They are both in their early 50s and wanted to take a look at their hormone levels.

  • She was having some symptoms of menopause.
  • He was concerned about being angry all the time, and super aggressive.  He described getting angry over nothing. For example, he had just experienced “road rage” a few days before the appointment and purposely crashed into a car that cut in front of him!

The results of their tests were very surprising:

  • She had very high male hormones and no detectable female hormones.
  • He had no detectable testosterone (low testosterone), and very low DHEA.

She should have been growing a beard, and he should have been growing breasts!

Role of Testosterone

Testosterone is an essential hormone for male development. Long-term studies in American GIs indicate that the healthiest levels of testosterone range from 400-600 ng/dl, which is just above average.  Testosterone levels peak in the early 20s and decline by about 1% per year after 40.
But, signs of low testosterone can appear at any age. These signs of low testosterone include:

  • A decline in physical energy, strength, and stamina
  • More aches and pains in the bones and joints
  • Less initiative and mental aggressiveness, or even depression

Interestingly, erectile dysfunction doesn’t seem to correlate well with testosterone levels.  Testosterone has very little effect on erection and only about a 25% correlation with libido (sexual or desire).

Testosterone and Sexual Desire

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Cause and Effects of Low Testosterone

By Dr. Richard A. DiCenso

What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is one of a family of hormones called androgens. Best known for their masculinizing effects, androgens first kick into action during the embryonic stages of life. An embryo is conceived when a female egg is fertilized with a male sperm. Androgens are a naturally occurring sex hormone that is produced by the ovaries, adrenal glands and other tissues. Androgen plays a key role in regulating certain bodily functions, including the growth spurt at puberty. It is believed to regulate the function of many organs, including the reproductive tract, kidneys, liver and muscles. The egg and sperm each donate a single sex chromosome to the embryo, an X chromosome from women, and an X or Y chromosome from men.

If the combination of these sex chromosomes is XX, then the embryo will be female. If it’s XY, the embryo will be male. Though in fact, it’s not until the sixth week of development that XX or XY embryos are anatomically defined. Before this the human fetus is essentially sexless, possessing a set of “indifferent” genitalia. One interpretation of this is that all embryos begin as female. Testosterone makes the difference, influencing the growth of male genitalia, while the female component of the indifferent genitalia degenerates.

Testosterone tends to be identified with masculine stereotype

According to some, the intimate association between testosterone and male identity starts early. This inference that testosterone equals male, while absence of testosterone equals female, is well-entrenched in the layers of our culture.  But, the reality is that testosterone is a girl’s hormone, too.

We have been conditioned to box our hormones into those that belong to men, and those that belong to women. Estrogen and progesterone are the so-called female sex hormones, and testosterone, the so-called primary male sex hormone. With that we assign our hormones impossible gender roles. But of course, gender is not that simple and nor are our hormones.

It turns out men and women produce exactly the same hormones, only in different amounts. Men’s bodies generate more than twenty times more testosterone than women, an average of 7 milligrams per day. Women, via mainly their ovaries and adrenal glands, make a tiny 3/10 of 1 milligram of testosterone per day.

But it may come as a surprise to know that women’s ovaries primarily produce testosterone, from which estrogen is then made. This ovarian production accounts for one-quarter of the total circulating testosterone in a woman’s body. At first glance, this might appear to suggest that women naturally have less estrogen than men.However, with the help of an aromatase enzyme, estrogen is also produced in your fat and muscle cells both before and after menopause. Aromatase is an enzyme found in the liver, responsible for the conversion of the androgens into the estrogens. Inhibiting aromatase can cause the body to produce less estrogen and maintain a higher testosterone state.

Your estrogen levels are not totally dependent on your ovaries, there are a lot of other factors that come into play, like your diet and body composition.

While these numbers may appear to be a bit confusing at first, they basically translate to the fact that women have about 1/10 the amount of testosterone found in men.

Conversely, men’s bodies produce their own estrogen, converted by their tissues from their testosterone. In reality, testosterone is as much a woman’s sex hormone as it is a man’s.

What Does Testosterone Actually Do?

Testosterone is considered to be the principal male hormone, playing an important role in the development and maintenance of typical masculine characteristics, such as facial hair, muscle mass and a deeper voice. In men, testosterone plays a key role in the development of male reproductive tissues such as the testis and prostate, as well as promoting secondary sexual characteristics such as increased muscle, bone mass and the growth of body hair.

So, why would women want testosterone? The fact is, women produce it too, and it has more positive influences than you might think. Testosterone is essential for health and well-being in women, as well. In women, studies show that it helps maintain muscle and bone and contributes to sex drive or libido and aids in the prevention of osteoporosis.

Is More Testosterone Better?

Not necessarily! In fact, over the past decade researchers have found elevated testosterone levels to influence a person’s tendency towards

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Low Testosterone Causes Life Threatening Diseases

Why the condition Low-T could be sabotaging your life beyond preventing you from lighting your fire…

“The time to hesitate is through…no time to wallow in the mire…”  ~Jim Morrison

If you…

  • Could stand to lose a few pounds…
  • Don’t have the energy you used to…
  • And seem to always get that “bug” that goes around…

Then, friend, you’re going to need to check this out!

Because although those things are a sure sign of aging…you may not have to just lie down and take it.

And if you do feel drained of energy, sport a mighty gut that resembles a “baby bump,” have circulatory issues or other head-scratching health concerns, the answer could be found in your old pal testosterone.

That’s right, buddy – the very same hormone that caused therapy-inducing embarrassment during your formative years (we needn’t go into details of just how the testo became your sexual manifesto) may be striking again…This time sabotaging your precious health instead of your social life.

Gaining an understanding of how testosterone affects you is only the first step, the main thing is to take action and get it under control so it never embarrasses you again or worse – causes disease.

Yes – you read that right – low testosterone levels can increase your chances of getting heart disease, diabetes, dementia and other age-related conditions!

Fortunately, it’s preventable if you know what to do…and you will – if you stick with me here…because the time to hesitate is through!

Major advances have been made that can help you carve out a safe path around these pitfalls and enjoy life far into your Golden Years without worry, depression, or contempt. A little common sense along with a few natural remedies can eliminate age-related health problems for life.

Testosterone: The good and the bad

Testosterone is an oddball hormone to say the least…

Essentially, this steroid is built with cholesterol. It’s found in utero and right after we’re born. But one of its most memorable entrances comes during puberty.

The embarrassment of developing “pizza face” as the facial hair begins to grow under testosterone’s influence…the cracking, popping voice as the larynx begins to grow and mature…and of course – the psychological turmoil that came with all these changes.

Then, as its levels balance and the maturity settles, testosterone gives us our competitive edge, confidence, energy, and – ahem – sex drive.

And although most gals have only 1/7 the amount as us fellas, ladies – you’re influenced quite a bit by what little’s there! Of course, we all have more or less depending on our genetic make-up.

Then, as we men age this oddball hormone turns on us again.

Testosterone giveth and testosterone taketh away…

Funny thing is – once it balances in your system, testosterone begins to get ironic on you.

That confidence, energy, sex drive, and edge – it just zaps them and quietly takes them away from you – then it gets even more vicious and increases your risk of certain diseases.

So here’s a health flash for you:

The best indicator of your overall good health can be found in your sex drive, libido, mojo, machismo, virility…whatever you care to call it. If you can’t or no longer have the desire to “light that fire,” then it could be a sign of degrading health.

But who ever said you shouldn’t have sexual energy, health and virility as you age?

You can if you make a few dietary changes and refocus your mind…

Great health comes from combining natural remedies based on scientific proof, and a little common sense…wrap that up with some positive thought and you have a healthy package – a gift that keeps on giving your whole life.

Ignore proper nutrition and testosterone could easily have its way with you…

But, just what causes this hormonal ruckus?

It’s all about the X’s and Y’s

There are two sperm types, X or Y.

  1. The X is the largest chromosome storing the most genes to control life’s complex biological processes.
  2. The Y chromosome on the other hand only stores a small amount of genetic information.
  3. In combination…XX = Female and XY = Male.

Simply put, every human needs one X chromosome for life…but only males need the Y.

It makes a dude a dude!

At only 6 weeks after conception, the Y chromosome starts the development of male testes, which begin making testosterone.

And this hormone is more than a game changer; it’s also a brain changer!

Because cognitive thinking processes and critical psychological development is triggered by testosterone.

Earlier I said a downgraded libido may indicate degrading health…

Why, then, is the libido such a strong indicator of male health and vitality?

Because a healthy libido means everything is working smoothly. Your mojo defines your health and your health defines your mojo!

The secret to controlling age-related disease and illness is simply to prevent the weakening of the processes keeping your cells energized and “growing.” Life extension experts believe one day we will crack the “immortal gene.” Having better understanding how our environment, nutrition and lifestyle factors all play together is the key.

And part of that key to understanding is eating right…

Here’s a great libido boosting recipe you’ll love!

Mojo BBQ Roast

What you’ll need:

  • 2 pounds of organic grass fed beef or Bison meat
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 crushed garlic gloves
  • 2 teaspoons of freshly crushed sage
  • ¼ cup of ground flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats
  • 2 tables spoons EV olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon raw sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon of natural BBQ sauce (with no HFCS)


  • ½ cup BBQ sauce
  • ½ natural organic catsup (no HFCS)

What to do:

  1. Mix together, place into a well oiled (EV coconut oil) glass baking dish. I use a 6 x 10 size.
  2. Mix sauce and pour over meat. Cover with foil and bake 350 degree for about an hour.
  3. Serve with broccoli and couscous.

Eating testosterone friendly foods does more than nourish…it can also slow or prevent…

Pandemic Testosterone Deficiency (TD)


Low testosterone levels are typically defined as less than 300 ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter) of total testosterone and less than 5 ng/dL of free testosterone.

Testosterone Deficiency (TD) is wide spread in today’s male population and responsible for many health problems and concerns. It’s important to note that testosterone production increases rapidly at puberty and decreases rapidly after age 50.

It’s estimated that more than 13,000,000 American males have testosterone deficiency (TD) and less than 10 percent get help for it.

Studies reveal men with obesity, diabetes, or hypertension may be twice as likely to suffer from testosterone deficiency (TD).

We know the primary purpose of testosterone is to develop male reproductive organs . . . testosterone also supports 10 other vital male qualities.

Testosterone Supports 10 Secondary Qualities:

  1. Muscles
  2. Bone Mass
  3. Fat Distribution
  4. Hair Patterns
  5. Laryngeal Enlargement
  6. Vocal Chord Thickening 
  7. Healthy Mood
  8. Fertility
  9. Sex Drive
  10. Cellular Energy

To reverse testosterone deficiency (TD), you need to know what causes it.  Already missing the extra X chromosome, man needs all the help he can get from testosterone. We know nutrition is key, but this will do you no good if your cells are exposed to toxins. Most men’s cells are chocked so full of environmental and dietary toxins that there isn’t any room for nutrients.

Before you can do any good, you’ll first have to eliminate the poisons attacking your cells and causing diseases.

6 Chemical Terrorists Wreaking Hormonal Havoc:

  1. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
  2. NutraSweet (Aspartame)
  3. Hydrolyzed Protein
  4. Hydrogenated Oils (Trans Fats)
  5. Sodium Fluoride
  6. Biphenol A (BP-A)

Aspartame, MSG and hydrolyzed protein are excitotoxins that destroy neurons. Exposing yourself to any of these toxins is the same as exposing your cells to chemical warfare. Bio-hazardous chemicals like fluoride, BPA and trans-fats have also been proven to cause brain and reproductive damage. 

Animal studies have shown pregnant mothers exposed to small doses of glutamate have children who develop reproductive health problems during puberty, such as shrinking testicles. There is evidence these excitotoxins also trigger hyperactivity and result in low cognitive performance. The neurons get so over-excited they literally burn up and die, shutting down hormone signaling as well as brain function.

The FDA claims your brain is protected by a blood-brain-barrier, however this is incorrect. Not only can these excitotoxins cross your blood-brain-barrier and enter your brain directly, there are also parts of your brain without a blood-brain-barrier at all, such as your hypothalamus – the part of your brain that performs a variety of functions but most important – it links your endocrine system with your central nervous system.

So it’s up to you to keep you hypothalamus healthy and working properly.

Here are a couple excellent food choices for maintaining a health hypothalamus:

  1. Sprouted whole grains/seeds
  2. Raw Vegetables
  3. Raw Fruits
  4. Raw nuts
  5. Fish

Basically, there are certain health hazards that come with age. Yet these hazards can be avoided – or at the very least, indefinitely put off – by paying close attention to what you put in your body.

Here’s an age controlling recipe that might just be your fountain of youth:


What you’ll need:

  • 2 pieces of sprouted seed bread
  • 1 tablespoon of Chyawanprash (5,000 year old Ayurvedic practice, its an Indian jam blended with age-defying herbs and spices. It can easily be found online.)
  • 1 tablespoon raw almond butter (vitamin E, zinc, magnesium, phosphorous, calcium, folic acid)
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin coconut oil (good fats)

What to do:

Lightly toast the bread just enough to melt the coconut oil into both halves, then spread the Chyawanprash on one slice and the almond butter on the other slice. Make a sandwich and enjoy.

How to Level the Playing Field Naturally

Eat right, exercise and educate yourself on why you’re feeling the way you do to determine the best course of action to fix it.

Your body is a remarkable and complex machine that has the power to heal itself as long as you respect it and treat it right.

Having lower testosterone – or rising estrogen – levels doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel – it just means you need to take extra special care of yourself and find out how to replenish your youthful past.

Keep nutrient rich foods in your diet and stay out of the funeral pyre. Instead of getting old, make sure you’re growing old so when the time comes, you’ll be able to light that fire!

Anti-Aging Hormone Increases the Chances of Pregnancy and Decreases Miscarriages

A recent study, conducted by scientists from Tel Aviv University in Israel, has revealed that women taking anti-aging pills have increased chances of getting pregnant.

The physicians have found out that taking this pill boosts the chances of pregnancy by 300%. The reason behind it is that these pills contain a hormone called DHEA.

In the study, the scientists focused on two groups of women. The first group comprised women, who went in for the conventional treatment for poor ovulation, whereas the second group of women went in for the same treatment and also took the DHEA supplement.

This hormone is produced in the brain, testes and the ovaries. The maximum levels of the hormone are present in the people when they are in their 20s and then they reduce by the 30s.

They were surprised to see the results of their study. The study was headed by Adrian Shulman of Tel Aviv University.

Shulman disclosed to the Daily Express that they thought that the decreased levels of this hormone have a connection with the conception problems of older women, when using the IVF technique.

He added that they had not thought that this hormone would result in a considerable increase in the chances of pregnancy.*

The Center for Human Reproduction have been conducting considerable research on pregnancy in older women and the aging ovary who have had a harder time trying to get pregnant. Those women with diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) or ovarian impairment due to advanced age or premature ovarian aging (POA), DHEA supplementation has proved promising results.

Effects of DHEA in Women with DOR

  • Increases egg and embryo counts and quality
  • Increases chromosomally normal embryos available
  • Speeds up time to pregnancy in fertility treatment
  • Increases spontaneously conceived pregnancies
  • Improves IVF pregnancy rates
  • Decreases spontaneous miscarriage rates
  • Likely reduces chromosomal abnormalities  in embryos

Overall, DHEA supplementation makes women feel much better.

Positive Ant-Aging Side Effects of DHEA

  • Improved overall feeling
  • Physically stronger
  • Improved sex drive
  • Mentally sharper
  • Better memory

Further observation has also noted a surprisingly low miscarriage rate in DHEA pregnancies. Since miscarriages, especially in older women, are mostly due to chromosomal abnormalities, this observation, too, suggested the possibility that DHEA may reduce chromosomal abnormalities.

The Center for Human Reproduction data has not only confirmed the high pregnancy rate in very unfavorable patients with diminished ovarian reserve, but demonstrated an identical reduction in miscarriage rate if supplementing with DHEA. The percentage of miscarriages of women over 35 is 50% more than under the same age, but DHEA hormone reduces that risk.

Since older women represent in the USA the most rapidly growing age group of women having babies, these findings provide good news and hope. DHEA may become an anti-aging supplement to be given, like prenatal vitamins, to all older women contemplating pregnancy.

*Reposted with Permission from TopNews.US

Product Review: DHEA for Adrenal Support

What is DHEA?

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It’s a precursor to both testosterone and estrogen in the body, although it may play other physiological roles, as well. It is sometimes called the, “mother hormone” — the source that fuels the body’s metabolic pathway.

Beginning at about age 30, levels of DHEA in both men and women begin to decrease, and by age 80, it’s estimated that approximately 95% of the hormone has been lost.

Some believe that this decline is responsible for the adverse consequences of aging and tout DHEA supplements as a sort of “fountain of youth.” DHEA, however, is not a general anti-aging solution. The trends associated with DHEA supplementation include the following health benefits:

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