Getting Your Wellness Back

Archive for the ‘Immune System’ Category

Regulation of Cortisol the Stress Hormone

Cortisol, often referred to as the stress hormone, plays a crucial role in maintaining health. But to be effective, circulating levels must be maintained in a fairly narrow range. If levels dip much below optimal, signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue occur. Any lower and the situation can become life threatening. 

If levels climb and remain above optimal for a period of time, signs and symptoms of metabolic syndrome appear. And if they get too high, Cushings syndrome manifests.

The level of circulating cortisol in the healthy body remains between 15 and 24 mcg/dL, producing 20-25 mg of cortisol over a 24-hour period. These optimal circulating levels carry in a diurnal pattern, with low being at approximately 4:30 a.m. and high occurring 30 to 45 minutes after rising or at approximately 7 a.m.  There is also a mid-afternoon low sometime between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., which usually lasts between 15 minutes and two hours.

The following are common signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue:

1) Morning fatigue: difficulty getting up and going without caffeine or other stimulants.

2) Mid-morning low: often compensated for by more caffeine plus sugar with fat. (e.g. coffee and donuts)

3) Afternoon low: typically experienced between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

4) Energy improves substantially after around 6 p.m.

5) Sleepiness may occur around 9:30 p.m.

6) A second wind occurring around 11 p.m., lasting until 1 a.m. to 2 a.m.

7) Sleeping in about two hours beyond usual rising time is more refreshing.

8) Feeling run down and exhausted most of the day.

9) Sleep disturbances

10) Getting sick more often and taking longer to recover from illness and other stresses.

11) Decreased libido

These symptoms can be addressed through stress management , lifestyle modifications, food choices, dietary supplements and homeopathy. 

More Pain for Pain Killers

The heart risks associated with taking over the counter pain killers for daily aches and pains is becoming a major debate. Some of the popular pills out there are Celebrex, Diclofenac, Motrin, Advil, Aleve, and Aspirin. The search for a good pain killer has always been frustrating. Opioids like Vicodin work great—except they’re addictive.  Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is powerful—but it can wreck your liver. Even aspirin with all of its known heart benefits, can lead to internal bleeding. Now there’s more painful news for people suffering from conditions like severe arthritis: researchers have confirmed heart risks for those taking large doses of two popular non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).

A University of Oxford study reports that the NSAIDs diclofenac and ibuprofen have heart risks similar to those NSAIDS that have already been banned. The study made clear that the danger increases significantly if a patient already has heart problems. The Oxford study found that for every 1,000 patients taking high-dose prescription declofenac or ibuprofen there are three additional heart attacks, four heart-failure events and one death. That difference might seem small, but it becomes significant in proportion to a person’s existing underlying heart-attack risk without the drugs.

Cardio, Cancer and Immunity– Iodine Intake

Every cell in your body contains and utilizes iodine, and is an ongoing, DNA-driven process throughout life. The current iodine deficiency crisis absolutely merits consideration. The facts reflect that, on a daily basis, iodine is essential to life itself. The most recent National Health and Nutrition Survey found that in the U.S., human iodine levels declined 50% over the 30-year period of 1971-2000. Currently iodine deficiency affects 72% of the world’s population.

What are the foremost causes of iodine deficiency?:

1) Low to no ocean fish or sea vegetable intake.

2) “Sea” or “real” salts that in fact do not contain adequate amounts of iodine  to maintain healthy iodine levels.

3) Inadequate use of iodized salt, especially with “low sodium” diets.

4) Drinking chlorine residue-rich water from high chlorine levels in treated municipal water.

5) Ingestion of fluorine in municipal water supplies.

6) Intake of bromine in foods and beverages, such as brominated vegetable oils and carbonated drinks.

7) Over consumption of bromine bakery products, such as breads, pastas, and cereals.

8) Radioactive iodine used in medicine exacerbates iodine deficiency.

9) Declining daily overall mineral uptake levels, such as soil erosion, monoculture-based farming, highly processed food, etc

10) Radioactive pollution and exposure emanating from nuclear power plant leakage, and possibly extreme exposure to cell phone radiation. 

Fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, and astatine are called “halogens” or “salts” in group 17 on the periodic table, and they all have precisely seven electrons in their outer shells. Based on atomic weight, fluorine, chlorine, and bromine are able to “displace” iodine because they can attach to the same receptor sites.   Without sufficient iodine the body is unable to synthesize some of the thyroid hormones. Because these thyroid hormones regulate metabolism in every cell of the body, playing a role in virtually all physiological functions, they can have a devastating impact on health.

Shiitake Mushrooms Help Reduce Cholesterol and Boost immunity

The shiitake, also called the oakwood mushroom or the black forest mushroom in English-speaking countries, is an edible brown mushroom that is native to Japan, China, and Korea. It has been cultivated for over a thousand years, and fresh and dried shiitake remain popular in East Asia today. Like maitake muhsrooms, which bear a similar nutritional profile, shiitake is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine due to its alleged healing properties.

Though less popular in the West than the East, the shiitake mushroom is nonetheless prized in North America and Europe for their robust taste, curious texture, and nutritiousness. Indeed, some researchers tasked with investigating the health benefits of shiitake have proclaimed it a superfood. Let’s find out why.

According to the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, shiitake mushrooms contain an active compound called lentinan (a form of beta-glucan) that stimulates the immune system, which in turn activates cells and proteins that can inhibit cancerous growths. A 2011 study by researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong also found that the shiitake is a good source of antioxidants such as selenium, which can eliminate the cancer-causing effects of free radicals.

According to researchers at the Lulea University of Technology in Sweden, a compound in shiitake called eritadenine has the ability to lower cholesterol. Another, unrelated study by researchers at the Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine in Japan found that rats who ate shiitake and maitake excreted cholesterol, resulting in fewer cholesterol in their bodies.

Ease the Burden of Your Immune System

Your Immune System works 24/7. With a couple of simple steps, you can ease its burden and begin to bring about positive physiological changes. The two steps are oil pulling and incorporating coconut oil into a healthful diet.

Stress, medications, lack of exercise, environmental toxins, and poor dietary habits all cause the immune system to be overworked and undernourished. When overworked, the immune system may struggle to keep up with its daily laundry list of cellular repair, maintenance, and regeneration. Failure to thoroughly complete these vital tasks can leave the body congested, lower in energy, and more susceptible to hormonal imbalances and illness. In a taxed state, the immune system may be able to keep an issue under control but fail to completely resolve it.

Resolving a health issue means first understanding its cause and then using appropriate means to initiate the healing process. A significant underlying cause of many degenerative diseases is a low-grade infection in the body. Signs of an infection may be nonexistent but symptoms of a degenerative disease may be occurring.   Oil pulling (swishing vegetable oil in your mouth) and ingesting coconut oil are two powerful and effective means to assist your immune system in fighting and infection and restoring health. Oil pulling and coconut oil, although used differently, share one thing in common: they remove or kill the microorganisms that may cause the disease.

One of the most common sources of low-grade infection can be found in the mouth.  There are over 100 trillion bacteria and other microorganisms in the body. Most reside in the GI tract. Around 10 billion bacteria along with millions of viruses, fungi, and protozoa live in your mouth. The health of your mouth closely correlates with the health of your joints and immune system.

The age old practice of oil pulling is one such method for removing the source of infection. Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic medical technique that has been practiced for generations. It involves swishing a spoonful of oil (sunflower, coconut, or sesame) for 15 to 20 minutes to remove the bacteria, viruses, fungi, and so on, in your mouth. It works because the cell membrane of the microbes is lipid based. Oil and water don’t mix but oil and other fats bond together. As the oil is swished vigorously in your mouth, it attracts the microbes and pulls them from the teeth and gums

Do antibiotics in the first year of life cause more issues?

Many children that receive antibiotics during their first year of life end up with inflammatory bowel disease— is it a coincidence? Let’s start with a few facts: antibiotics are medications that fight bacterial infections. That means if your doctor ever prescribes an antibiotic to fight your child’s cold, flu, cough (in most cases), sore throat (unless strep) and even bronchitis-all of which are caused by viruses– the antibiotic won’t do any good and will be exposing your child to an unnecessary drug with potential side effects. Unfortunately, studies have shown that doctors do prescribe antibiotics for viral infections, and that sometimes, it’s to appease the parent, who doesn’t want to hear that their child’s malaise will improve on its own in a few days or so.

Between unnecessary prescribing for viral infections and appropriate prescribingfor bacterial infections, children can end up taking several courses of antibiotics in their early years. That can be a problem for several reasons, not the least of which is that, as a recent study shows, they can end up with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) later in life. While researchers did not find a clear cause and effect relationship between  antibiotic use in year one and IBD in childhood, they did notice that children diagnosed with the condition were more likely to have taken antibiotics in their first year compared to children without IBD.

IBD is a chronic disease that causes inflammation of the intestines and symptoms almost too painful to mention– painful ulcers in the lining of inner wall of the intestines that cause bleeding, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, weight loss, andanemia. Bad enough if your child ever were to develop IBD, worse still if antibiotics were to blame

Several Nations Ban Flu Shots, Why?

Last summer, after one baby girl died, and more than 250 other children were hospitalized with convulsions and high fevers following their seasonal flu vaccine injections, Australian health banned the shot for all children under the age of five.
A short time later, Finland also suspended the H1N1 vaccines due to six reports of narcolepsy in children and teens immediately following vaccination. According to the Helsinki Times, “Medical reports suggest that over 750 of those who have been vaccinated have experienced harmful side effects.”

In Sweden, an investigation was launched after cases of post vaccination narcolepsy appeared in children there as well. “The vaccines appear to be causing a pattern of neurological disorders affecting children and teens across the planet,” a report in India’s Bharat Chronicle.
A public outcry was raised after it was revealed that Australian officials apparently were aware of the problem for several weeks yet withheld the information and continued to encourage parents with infants, children, and teens to be vaccinated with H1N1.

In the U.S., the advisory committee on immunization practices announced that “Afluria, the version of Fluvax, should not be used in children aged 6 months through 8 years.” Although health officials around the world were trying to calm parents by suggesting the reactions were relatively rare and not the effect of the vaccine itself, parents weren’t reassured.

“My six children all got he flu shot on Tuesday and within hours they were violently ill. Fevers above 39c, vomiting. We are now day 3, they all have severe headaches, fevers, aches, and pains and the runs. This is terrible, people have known about this for weeks. This is being played down by the health department. I would like to know if there will be any long term health issues for my family. I am sure that there are now more than 22 children ill. Well I have six of them. I want answers,” stated one women in the WAToday comments section accompanying the article.

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