July 28, 2014

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 http://amandabox.blogspot.com/ for contact info.

 

(1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1949298/

 

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)

Sauce:

  • 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)

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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:

Chyawandwich

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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Physiological Effects of Stress

These biochemical markers of stress in turn lead to ill health and psychosocial disorders. Consequently, stress plays a major causative role in both physical and mental health.

When undergoing a series of test to evaluate markers of stress, including cortisol and DHEA levels, the results in over thousands of cases are remarkable consistent: only 20-25% have cortisol levels consistent with healthy adrenal function, while 75-80% suffer impaired function.

The effects are profound: fatigue and weakness, hormonal imbalance, skin problems, hair loss, autoimmune disorders, insulin resistance and dozens of other health concerns.

With out adrenal glands consistently on “high alert,” high cortisol levels have a destructive effect.

CORTISOL INCREASE

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress, affecting the body’s metabolism of glucose, proteins and fats. It is normally released by the body in a regular daily pattern of highs and lows. Imbalances gradually tear your body down.

Sustained high cortisol levels:

  • Destroy healthy muscle and bone
  • Slow down healing and normal cell regeneration
  • Co-opt parent molecules needed to make other vital hormones
  • Impair digestion, metabolism and mental function
  • Interfere with healthy endocrine function
  • Weaken your immune system

To restored healthy adrenal function, eat in tune with your natural cortisol curve.  Enrich your nutrition, reduce refined carbohydrates and cut back on stimulants.

DHEA DECREASE: Dehydroepiandrosterone

At the same time that cortisol levels increase, the production of DHEA is decreased. DHEA production already decreases, naturally, as we get older. When heightened levels of cortisol further inhibit DHEA we set ourselves up for physical and mental disaster. We begin to lose our ability to cope with stress, our short-term memory can begin to falter and our health starts to wane. It doesn’t have to be this way.

DHEA is the most abundant steroid in the body. DHEA is a steroid precursor produced by the adrenal gland and converted to testosterone or the estrogens by the body’s tissues. Adequate DHEA levels give the body the building blocks necessary to produce these hormones. Levels of DHEA are inversely associated with coronary artery disease. Taking DHEA may increase IGF-1 levels and increase the sense of well-being. DHEA levels decrease with age.

DHEA is also an important hormone produced in the adrenal glands, the body’s primary source for the production of the sex hormone testosterone. Peak levels of DHEA are reached in an individual’s early to mid-20s. Optimal levels are associated with increased energy, healthy immune and cardiovascular function, improved memory and elevated mood.

Boosting the body’s diminished supply of DHEA can help an individual more effectively combat chronic mental and physical stress. Natural DHEA supplementation counters the negative effects of having too many corticosteroids and bringing the body back into balance. The body regains its ability to fight off sickness and the mind regains its ability.

SAVE YOURSELF

The adrenal response can be life-saving.  There are many ways to replenish adrenal function and health naturally. When you restore balance to your adrenal glands, you’ll see results on every physical and emotional level, and your whole body will thank you for saving it!

 

Foods That Boost Sexual Performance In Both Males and Females

Top 10 Grocery Store Items For Improving Couple’s Libidos

Spanish fly. Rhinoceros horn. Phallic-looking foods. Throughout history, people have gone to a lot of trouble—not to mention in some cases putting their health in danger—trying to find libido boosters to improve their sex lives. Today, pleasure seekers have it easier because, as it turns out, the grocery store is the perfect place to find natural aphrodisiacs.

Bonus: In addition to making sex a little steamier, nearly all these foods have health benefits beyond the bedroom.

1. Chocolate

This dark, delicious dessert has long been associated with indulgence, but that’s not the only reason chocolate puts you and your guy in a sensual mood. The treat contains caffeine, which helps perk you up and also boosts serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that contribute to feelings of well-being and happiness.

Chocolate brings on feelings of euphoria because it is a psycho-stimulant so it has an arousal effect.  This is caused by phenylethylamine, a chemical with an amphetamine-like affect that temporarily mimics feelings of falling in love. In fact, a 2007 British study found that letting chocolate melt in your mouth is more stimulating and raised heart rates more than kissing. Chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is also loaded with antioxidants that improve circulation and lower cholesterol.

2. Pumpkin Pie

The next time you want to seduce a guy, bake a pumpkin pie. A study that measured blood flow south of the border in men ages 18 to 64 found that the scent of pumpkin pie rated the highest response—a 40% increase. Romantic lavender rated equally high, while close runners-up included donuts and black licorice, which boosted blood flow to men’s nether regions by more than 31 percent. As surprising as it may seem, when it comes to sex, scent offers a greater libido lift than ingestion: 90% of what people call taste is actually smell.   The scent of these foods may reduce anxiety, which helps remove inhibitions.

3. Licorice

You probably won’t look at the candy counter at the movies the same way after reading this: Smelling and tasting licorice-flavored candy caused a 13% increase in vaginal blood flow, according to recent research. Why? The scent may trigger olfactory nostalgia, such as positive memories from childhood as well as feelings of security and safety—a state of mind that helps make sex more relaxing and enjoyable. Oddly enough, the smell of cherries had the opposite effect on women, causing an 18% reduction of vaginal blood flow (in other words, a real turn-off).

4. Oatmeal

You may not have heard of L-arginine, but this common amino acid is a precursor to nitric oxide, a substance that “enhances the arousal response.” Good food sources of L-arginine include oatmeal and granola as well as nuts, seeds, dairy, and seafood.  So the next time you’re on a date at a romantic restaurant, suggest the pasta with pine nuts or salmon. Sexy, mutually beneficial menu options such as these will ensure your evening ends on a high note!

5. 

Dealing with Stress and Cortisol Control

Many of us stuffer with stress, some of us more than others. However, few of us are really aware that stress impacts our health. Fear not. There are simple steps you can take to help better manage it.

Usually associated with the physical and mental side-effects of a busy lifestyle, stress is rampant during times such as this. For many people, a bad economy is at the root of money worries, leading to high anxiety. During periods of stress, the body generates chemicals called cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline.

Coritsol is commonly known as the “stress hormone,” this very important hormone is produced and secreted by the adrenal gland. It helps regulate numerous body functions including blood pressure, insulin release, glucose metabolism, immune function and inflammatory response. It also plays an important role in the regulation of emotion, cognition, reward, and energy utilization.

Why do we need to control cortisol?

It’s simple. Excess cortisol is secreted during times of physical or psychological stress, which can alter the normal pattern of cortisol release. When hormones are imbalanced, often due to stress, lack of exercise or a poor diet, a person can experience symptoms such as depression, mood swings, low libido and fatigue.

Cortisol stimulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism for fast energy, and helps maintain blood sugar levels, which may cause an increase in appetite and cravings for high-carb, high-fat foods. Not surprisingly therefore, high levels of cortisol can also contribute to weight gain and even affect where you put on weight. Studies show that stress and elevated cortisol levels actually cause an increase in visceral fat in the abdominal area, the worst place to store excess fat. There is a strong correlation between abdominal fat and cardiovascular disease.

Lifestyle Changes to Control Cortisol

Sleep is a very important component of any healthy lifestyle. Making sure you get an adequate amount of sleep each night can help keep hormone levels in an ideal range. According to nutrition4health.org, the key to a rejuvenating sleep  is having a normal cortisol rhythm during the day that leads up to a restful nights sleep. In other words, the two go hand in hand.

Although caffeine can function as an effective way to boost metabolism, making sure you don’t exceed 400mg each day is important where cortisol is concerned.

Vitamin C is thought to be a stress buster that can have a positive impact on the hormone cortisol. Psychology Today declares that vitamin C helps reduce the physical and psychological impact of stress. “In one study German researchers subjected 120 people to a sure-fire stressor….Half of those studied were given 1,000 mg of vitamin C. Such signs of stress as elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol and high blood pressure were significantly greater in those who did not get the vitamin supplement. Those who got vitamin C reported that they felt less stressed when they got the vitamin,” reports Psychology Today.

Refrain from drinking alcohol. High levels of intoxication could stimulate cortisol release. A study titled  Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research found that long-term chronic drinking produces an increase in cortisol both during intoxication and withdrawal.

To keep cortisol levels balanced or as the experts call it, in a homeostatic state, relaxation techniques can be very beneficial. Everything from Yoga, to listening to music, to exercising regularly can have a positive effect on the body’s response to stress.

So, how do you recognize when your stress level may be too high?

Stress Symptoms

  • Feeling excessive guilt when you’re relaxing, and not always staying busy
  • Having trouble getting to sleep
  • Finding it hard to concentrate
  • Experiencing an unusually high level of sensitivity
  • Tension in your body
  • Indigestion, loss of appetite or eating purely for comfort

Stress Management

Making some simple lifestyle changes should help ease many of the symptoms associated with stress. If however, you are experiencing stress or anxiety that is a real cause for concern, you should always talk to your doctor.

  • Take things one step at a time. It’s ok to say no when demands are too high.
  • Talk to someone who is positive and will offer you useful advice.
  • Let out your frustration in a healthy way. Try shouting out load, screaming or even hitting a pillow!
  • Use relaxation techniques such as yoga to help calm your body and mind.
  • Become physically active. Exercise releases endorphins into your blood stream, giving you a feeling of happiness and improved sense of well-being.
  • Take time out from your usual daily routine. Socialize with friends or take time to be at one with yourself.

Stress, high levels of these cortisol can raise blood pressure, increase heart rate and make you sweat more. In addition to this, too much cortisol circulating in the body can lead to weight gain. Excessive amounts of cortisol releases fat and sugar into your bloodstream and even preventing the immune system from functioning properly. Do all that you can to be stress-less!