Sleep Quality

We all know that sleep is very important for our health. Sleep deprivation can cause us to have accidents, be inpatient, have concentration problems and catch a cold easily.

During the month of December we tend to have more commitments than normally. We visit family members, shop for Christmas presents, plan a Christmas party and have to attend those at the office.

We most likely feel overwhelmed with all of those commitments and even start worrying at night time. Most likely robbing us of a well deserved, restful sleep.

Would you like to wake up refreshed? Well rested?

Wake up refreshed

Do you wake up with pain in your body? Feeling unrested? Did you wake up during the night several time?

Wake up Crumpy

Many factors influence sleep quality. Stress of course can rob us of sleep. Hormone imbalances, hot flashes can cause insomnia and trouble falling asleep. Check out the list of helpful tips and download the extended list. From there pick and choose what you may think could help you.

Helpful tips for Better Sleep

  • Follow a regular sleep schedule
  • Create an environment conducive to better sleep
  • Avoid stimulants and other substances that may impair sleep
  • Avoid napping during the day
  • Ensure adequate exposure to sunlight
  • Engage in regular physical activity
  • Incorporate stress management and relaxation techniques

Download the PDF file to get even more tips how you can improve your sleep by changing just a few things in your life.

If you are looking for some supplements that can help you fall asleep better I would recommend

Magnesium, which is on top of my list. Magnesium is important for over 300 enzyme functions in the body.

Epsom salt bath is a great way to relax in warm water plus the benefit of sulfured magnesium.

Lavender Essential Oil; just a few drops on the pillow or a tissue placed on the nightstand or next to the pillow, can improve sleep quality

CBD oil is ideal to calm down the nervous system, help reduce anxiety and improve sleep and sleep quality

Methylation part I

Methylation part I

So what is methylation? It is a biochemical process which takes place continuously in every cell of the body. It is not one reaction but over one hundred reactions that occur in every cell of the body all the time. Imagine methylation cycles as wheel spinning with the help of methyl groups to drive the cycles. These methyl groups are being transferred (donated) from one chemical to another. Each of the cycles you see in this picture has a specific function which can be performed by methyl groups.

Methyl groups

Are three hydrogen atoms and one carbon atom bonded together. Methyl groups are vital for gene expression, and normal cell replication dictated by the DNA. When sufficient methyl groups are being present, the genes can work perfectly, passing on their DNA code to the RNA in order to ensure the cells work properly.

What are the functions of Methylation?

  • Regulating genetic expression, e.g. turn genes on or off
  • Producing neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine
  • Muscle and neuron health
  • Detoxification with the production of glutathione, produced in the liver.
  • DNA & RNA synthesis and repair.
  • Creating immune cells, such as natural killer cells and T- cells
  • Myelination for the protection of nerves
  • Health of the cardiovascular system
  • Production of mitochondrial energy.

As you can see those functions are all very important in keeping the body healthy. If the methylation processes don’t work properly we develop symptoms and diseases.

As an example, we can take a look at the immune system which under normal circumstances protects us. When methylation problems are expressed, the immune system may not be able to perform it’s function. Say you are infected with a virus, the immune system would start an attack on it. But with certain mechanisms not working properly, the virus can stay active for a very long time, and we end up with a chronic virus infection.  Epstein Barr virus is a very common infection which can result in extreme fatigue and a low grade fever. It can also cause leaky gut, and this in turn causes food intolerances. Another problem is a high homocysteine level which can cause heart disease.

The development of chronic conditions can be explained by the list of functions of methylation. If our body can’t detoxify environmental toxins, degrade excess hormones such as estrogen, can’t repair DNA, can’t protect the nerves with a healthy outer myelin sheath, a person can develop conditions such as:

Autism, Depression, Diabetes, Cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Atherosclerosis, ADD, Multiple Sclerosis, Dementia, Chemical Sensitivity, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Alcoholism, Insomnia, Down Syndrome, Chronic Viral Infection, Neuropathy, Recurrent miscarriage, Infertility, Anxiety, Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder, and Allergies

Now to the good news as we learn about the factors that help methylation cycles work properly.

  • Nutrients such as zinc, vitamin B12 or magnesium are needed. For example: Magnesium is involved in about 300 enzyme functions.
  • Healing the gut. We must have a healthy gut in order to absorb the nutrients from the food we eat.
  • Clean Water without fluoride and chlorine.
  • Organic food without herbicides, pesticides, chemical fertilizers.
  • Stress reduction through meditation, avoiding excessive exposure to EMF (Electric Magnetic Fields) while working on the computer or using a cell phone.
  • Healthy sleep habits help the body to rest and repair.

As you can see there are a lot of lifestyle factors you could try to implement on your own.

If you want to know exactly where you have methylation issues, you need to consider a gene test, such as the 23andme, as well as specific blood and urine tests.

Free twenty minute Health Consultation 

Walk away with a new way of thinking about Health and Symptoms

What is Stress

Raise your hand if you don’t have any stress in your life. Stress becomes a problem when we don’t handle it correct.

What is stress?

There are outside stressors like financial worries, driving to and from work, and inside stressors like candida overgrowth or parasites. What happens when we are under stress? Fear and anger builds up, we have trouble sleeping and need our coffee in the morning to get going. Over time we notice that we have trouble fighting off a simple cold and it takes weeks to get well. Sweets are out best friend. We experience diarrhea and / or constipation, have food sensitivities all of a sudden.
Adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol is being released by the adrenals; this increases the heart rate and more blood is being pumped through the body, digestion slows down, blood sugar is being elevated for energy, respiration rate increased. This is called a Fight or Flight reaction.
If the stressor is not removed the adrenals will pump out cortisol in elevated levels all the time which weakens the adrenals in the long run. We just notice that we don’t have the energy anymore or suddenly in the afternoon we run out of energy, need a nap or just can’t keep up anymore with the demands in our lives. Most people who experience this kind of energy loss reach for some kind of stimulants like coffee, soda, pills, alcohol, chocolate, nicotine, etc. We all know that those measures are only masking the problem and in the meantime it grows worse without us noticing it.
Cortisol is important to increase blood sugar levels. During stressful times cortisol helps to raise the blood sugar level in our body, to provide energy for the cells. Rising blood sugar levels increases insulin levels and the up and down of blood sugar levels causes insulin resistance and type II diabetes. Cortisol is an Anti-inflammatory agent. For example, in the case of a trauma, cortisol is being releases to reduce the swelling like in arthritis. Elevated cortisol suppresses the immune system, especially in the gut lining. This causes the person to be susceptible to illness like viruses and bacterial infections. Since cortisol has so many functions in our body, it is important to support the adrenals.

Solutions:
First we need to test the adrenals with a saliva test.
This will help determine the stages of adrenal fatigue and steroid hormone imbalance. A prescription drug to relax will not solve the problem but only mask it. The medical community is not testing for adrenal fatigue, in fact, they don’t even recognize it. Why not? they test the cortisol in a 24 hours urine test, which gives them the total cortisol output for that day, nothing else.
Cortisol is being released in high levels in the morning and in low levels at night as shown in the image. Your adrenals may be really tired in the afternoon around 3 pm because reduced cortisol output is occurring, which is not being seen by a urine test.

Also, your cortisol could be high in the morning, which would bring your total cortisol sum for the day up into the normal range. If your doctor would test your cortisol level in the morning via a blood test, then he would see that it is a little high. Would he look for underlying causes? Probably not. And he will not look for cortisol levels throughout the day.

We need to identify and remove the underlying causes of stress,  be it outside/ or inside stressors.
Sleep! Is so important, getting good quality sleep as well as 8 hours of sleep will help to repair your adrenals.
Healthy food, no junk food, no sugar will allow for adrenal repair.
Exercise is important, but how much is enough or healthy for you? It depends on the severity of the adrenal dysfunction.
Sometimes it is necessary to add some hormones to reduce pregnenolone steal.
What is pregnenolone steal? Pregnenolone is the mother hormone, produced in the adrenal gland and converted into DHEA, Estrogen, Progesterone and Cortisol. During times of increased stress, pregnenolone is stolen from the DHEA pathway to produce enough cortisol. Some people try stress reduction but still don’t feel better, simply because of the burned in pregnenolone steal and consequently low DHEA and estrogen levels.
Supplements? Which ones? It all depends on the person, on the stage of adrenal fatigue.

Stop calling it Adrenal Fatigue. Call it HPA -Axis Dysfunction

Do you feel tired during the day and wired at night? Aren’t most of your friends and acquaintances complaining about being exhausted? Do you assume that this may be the norm?

Although it may be common for a lot of people to be tired most of the time it is not normal.

Symptoms associated with HPA axis dysfunction include:

  • Weight gain in the midsection
  • Fatigue, feeling of tiredness all the time or in the afternoon
  • Sleep problems, trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Allergies, seasonal allergies, or food allergies
  • Depression, not being motivated
  • Memory problems, can’t remember where you parked your car or put your key
  • Visiting the restroom often
  • Constipation
  • Blood sugar problems, low blood sugar or high blood sugar
  • Blood pressure problems, feeling dizzy all of a sudden, legs feel heavy
  • Anxiety or nervousness, feeling jumpy
  • Brain fog, not being able to concentrate
  • Dry skin
  • Feeling cold all the time, or just having cold hands and feet
  • Loss of libido

Why do I call adrenal fatigue “HPA axis dysfunction”?

The adrenal glands produce hormones, especially cortisol as a stress hormone, which help us cope with daily stress. But they also help regulate blood sugar levels, and reduce inflammation. However, the adrenal glands do not work in a vacuum; they are connected via a hormonal feedback loop with the hypothalamus.

The Hypothalamus checks the level of hormones in the blood and sends hormonal signals (CRH) to the Pituitary which in return sends ATCH, a hormone, to the Adrenal glands to either reduce the production of cortisol or to elevate it. We call this connection the HPA axis.

HPA axis

Stress induces the release of corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH)

CRH stimulates the release of drenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) from the anterior pituitary

ACTH stimulates the release of glucocorticoids from the adrenal cortex

As you can see the interaction between the different hormone glands in the HPA axis is complex.

Remember, Cortisol is a stress hormone, therefore any kind of stress will elevate this very important hormone. If you suffer from chronic stress your adrenal glands will be constantly stimulated via the HPA axis.

Not only are adrenal gland hormones effected, but also the thyroid hormones through the HPA-HPT (T for Thyroid) axis. Remember, Cortisol is a Stress hormone. Therefore, any kind of stress will elevate this very important hormone. If you suffer from chronic stress your adrenal glands will be constantly stimulated via the HPA axis.

adrenal fatigue hpa axis

Moreover, chronic stress disrupts the glucocorticoid dynamics, modifies cortisol levels which disrupts the HPA-axis feedback loop and can have a negative impact on mood and neurotransmitter.

A simple dried urine test could help you determine your adrenal function if you produce too much or too little of the stress hormone cortisol and or estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, or melatonin. The dried urine test will also determine the hormone metabolites, but this needs to be explained in a separate article because it involves gene mutations and methylation processes.

Unfortunately, the medical community doesn’t really recognize HPA axis dysfunction as a serious condition. The problem lies in the way cortisol is being tested. The dried urine test measures cortisol four times a day while your doctor only measures cortisol in the blood one time during a particular day or in a 24 hour urine test of the total cortisol output.

If you get tested or not, my recommendation is to reduce external stress as much as possible, eat a whole food diet and get adequate sleep. If you suspect internal stressors such as pathogens or mineral imbalances, get tested.

Environmental stressors and epigenetic control of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis (HPA-axis) 
Richard Lee and Akira Sawa 

Role of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis in Developmental Programming of Health and Disease Fuxia Xiong and Lubo Zhang

Toxins in Personal Care Products and the Environment

toxins in cosmetic

Toxins are present in the environment, drinking water, food, food containers and maybe cleaning products. Toxins can also be found in chemical ingredients that are used in personal care products. Care products we use every day such as shampoo, conditioner, hair styling products, body lotion, make up, foundation, facial creams, perfumes, and shaving cream have toxin in them. These chemicals can have impact on your body because your skin easily absorbs whatever you rub onto it – body lotion or magnesium gel.

There are certain chemicals which are often used in personal care products that could affect your health. These personal care products that contain some dangerous chemicals need be avoided. Let us look at some of these chemicals that could be hazardous to your health.

Parabens

There are certain chemicals that made up Parabens and these include Methylparaben and Propylparaben. These two chemicals are found in hair products, shaving cream, body lotion and cosmetics as antimicrobial preservatives. They act as endocrine disruptor and they interfere with estrogen activity and bind to alpha and beta estrogen receptor in female. Besides, these two chemicals increase the risk of breast cancer. They cause breast cancer because parabens mainly accumulate in breast tissue.

Phthalates

Phthalate has Ethylparaben, 4-Hydroxybenzoic acid and many other chemicals that could be dangerous. Phthalates are used in plastic bottles because they soften the material. Every personal care product that is sold in soft containers is being contaminated with phthalates. Phthalates are also found in frequencies, paint pigments and flooring as well as in plastic milk containers.

Phthalates are also endocrine disruptor with estrogenic activity. Women who suffer from endometriosis often times have elevated levels of phthalates as well as children on the autism spectrum. Phthalates are linked to birth defects, obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

These chemicals that made up Phthalate can decrease male fertility by lowering sperm count and testosterone. However, it is important to remember that the law in the USA does not require full disclosure of fragrance mixtures. Therefore, it is hard to know if the products you are purchasing contain phthalates or not. Phthalates are fat-soluble. Foods such as butter, milk and cheeses stored in plastic container have higher amounts of Phthalates than foods that do not contain fats.

Bisphenol-A

Bisphenol-A, also called BPA, is found in food containers especially food cans with epoxy lining. It can also be found even on some sales receipts. BPA is present in plastic containers with the #7 recycling code as well as in water bottles and sometimes in water supply pipes.

BPA exposure can occur through store receipts and personal care products. It often bypasses liver metabolism and thereafter enters the bloodstream directly. BPA is an endocrine disruptor with estrogenic activity. Foods such as butter, milk and cheeses stored in plastic container have higher amounts of BPA than foods that do not contain fats.

When BPA get into foods, it can cause a higher than normal risk for type II diabetes, interfere with infertility, increase the risk for cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, prostate and testicular cancer.

Perfluorinated Compounds PFC’s

These are teflon chemicals which repel oil and water and are basically indestructible. They are found in food packaging such as fast food wrappers, and of course in cookware coated with PFC’s. Furniture, carpets and clothing can be treated with PFC’s to become stain-resistance.

Effects of PFC’s on animal

PFC’s are hormone disruptors. Several studies conducted on animal revealed abnormal thyroid and testosterone levels after exposure to certain PFC’s. Other animal studies found that PFC’s can cause certain types of cancer such as kidney and testicular cancers.

According to pubmed, “Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with the hormone system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immunological effects in mammals.” Further studies found that even substances that were banned a long time ago can be detected in the body of almost every tested animal and human. This can be explained by the fact that endocrine disruptors are highly lipid soluble which leads to their bio accumulation in adipose tissue. Estrogen disruptor acts on estrogen receptor sites in the cell nucleus as well as changing the expression of genes by binding to DNA.

Why chemicals are difficult to remove from the body

The liver is the number one detoxification organ in humans’ body. It works in two phases to get rid of waste products to keep us healthy. Phase I is the Hydroxylation phase where molecules such as hormones, neurotransmitter, drugs and toxins become activated. The enzyme CYP450 converts such molecules and those can act as carcinogens and free radicals.

In Phase II detoxification the liver inactivates and detoxifies the substances from Phase I. The waste products are sent via the bile into the intestines and can get re-absorbed into the liver. This is the stage it gets difficult to remove chemicals from the body.

Problems with the detoxification process can occur when we lack phytonutrients because we eat a poor diet. Fried foods, processed foods are especially harmful to the body. What we need are fresh vegetables and fruits, grass fed beef and free roaming chicken for proteins, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Another reason why chemicals are difficult to get rid of has to do with gene variations that we are born with, which down or up regulate enzymatic activities. These enzymes metabolize estrogens.

Metabolism of estrogens is a complex process and can be monitored with a combination of gene test and a urine hormone test which also measures the metabolites of estrogen and other hormones.

What can you do to reduce your exposure to toxins?

If you are looking to get more information on how to reduce toxins generally, login to www.ewg.org      The Environmental Working Group’s

References: 
  • Charles, Ak, Darbre, Pd. Combinations of parabens at concentrations measured in human breast tissue can increase proliferation of MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. J Appl Toxicol. 2013; 33(5); 390-8
  • Dodge LE, Williams PL, Williams, Missmer SA, Souter I, Calafat AM, Hauser R, Associations, between paternal urinary phthalate metabolite concentrations and reproductive outcomes among couples seeking fertility treatment. Reprod Toxicol. 2015; Oct 6
  • Lin J, Chen W, Zhu H, Wang C. Determination of free and total phthalates in commercial whole milk products in different packaging materials by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. J Dairy Sci. 2015; Oct 7
  • Naraanan KB, Ali M, Barclay BJ, et al. Disruptive environmental chemicals and cellular mechanisms that confer resistance to cell death. Carinogenesis. 2015; 36; S89-110
  • Urinary Paraben Concentrations and Ovarian Aging among Women from a Fertility Center / Kristen W. Smith Irene Souter, Irene Dimitriadis, Shelley Ehrlich, Paige L. Wiliams, Antonia M. Calafat and Russ Hauser
  • http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tf.asp?id=900&tid=183
  • http://www.watoxics.org/chemicals-of-concern/perfluorinated-compounds-pfcs
  • http://www.watoxics.org/chemicals-of-concern/perfluorinated-compounds-pfcs
  • http://www.organicandhealthy.com/carpet.html

Why didn’t my adrenal gland function suffer after the car accident?

During my first visit to the chiropractor after the car accident I almost fainted after 5 seconds of traction (no adjustment due to inflammation). My body couldn’t handle the additional stress, which is no wonder after I got hit as a passenger by a pickup truck which traveled 40 miles / hr.

Three weeks ago I saw my chiropractor again. He was amazed about my progress and he asked what I did in order to tolerate not only the adjustment but traction and muscle stimulation as well.
Why are my adrenals not crashing after a car accident that could have caused extreme fatigue?
1) I took good care of myself before the accident with

  • healthy foods
  • eating according to the circadian rhythm,
  • exercise,
  • gardening,
  • blood sugar regulation,
  • going to bed early and getting up early etc.

2) I supported the hypothalamus-adrenal – axis with herbs, which I take from time to time.
3) I support my immune system and gut health with the right kind of foods, and take
MegaSporeBiotic which prevents leaky gut and fight invaders who could potentially make me sick.

4) I use Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis on a regular basis to

  • look at mineral balance and imbalance
  • adjust my supplement protocol

5) I meditate on a regular basis

6) At night I look back at my day

  • positive events
  • negative events
  • try to find a solution to the negative events (if I can’t I write down what I would like to work on)

do you need a consult? 

or contact me if you would like to book a free 20 minute Health Consultation.

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WiFi makes us sick

Gut Health

Health Issues

Supplements Explained

Stress

Methylation

Adrenal Glands

Thyroid Issues
Doreen, NC
This has been a year of learning experiences. I have gone to several doctors over the years. And each time I have come away frustrated with all of them. They don’t listen or they hear what they want. I have listened to their advice and stuck with it for years. I was on BP meds, two diabetic medications, and Cholesterol meds. when I met Linda. Linda told me things no one had ever mentioned before. She told me that from the test results I gave her that I was probably sensitive to Gluten and had leaky gut issues. She worked up a protocol and supplements for me. I changed my diet with Linda’s help and the results were incredible. I have lost over 50 pounds but, more important than that is I feel so much better. My children have only known me as a large (size 20-22) person. They are getting used to the new and happier (size 10) person I am now. I am off both diabetic meds and cholesterol meds. My BP meds have been lowered. Linda is very caring, listens to you and answers all your questions. She is diligent when giving you advise. She is a wealth if information. My suggestion for everyone is to listen to Linda’s suggestions and advise, and as the saying goes “Just do it.” Thank you so much Linda.
Rich, CA
I was suffering from chronic cystic acne around my chin before working with Linda. I would try and keep a food journal to try and figure out what I was eating that was causing this debilitating condition. The problem is that food sensitivities can show up 72 hours later, and it was too hard to figure out which food item it was. I finally decided to just work with Linda and take the MRT test. I had enough of guessing what foods were causing the cystic acne. When I got the results back, I was surprised about the items I tested sensitive to. I simply removed all those items from my diet, and my face got to its clearest in years within three weeks! No more painful nodules on my face! I’ve noticed that if I eat items from my list, I can feel a reaction on my face coming, so I know the test is accurate. I just stop eating those items, and my face clears again. I highly recommend working with Linda. She is very attentive to detail, and is committed to you having the best results for your condition related to diet. I only wish I did this earlier.


Elfriede, Germany
I’m so happy to report that the inflammation in my knee is gone and I am able to walk without a cane. Linda recommended to get off gluten and gave me the right kind of supplements. I am 88 years old and not being dependent on a cane is the best thing that happened to me in a long time. I have more energy, can think better, can clean my apartment and cook my own meals.

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Contact the Owner of Exclusively Holistic:
Linda Wilbert – Stewart, FDN-Practitioner, HHP, HC

 

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