Both Men and Women Face Health Issues.
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This article is mainly about Women and Health Issues.
Although both men and women face health issues, some are specific only to women. In some circumstances, treatment and recognition may differ. There are some health issues that affect women more severely.
While both men and women contract various conditions, some health issues affect women differently and more commonly. Furthermore, many women’s health conditions go undiagnosed and most drug trials do not include female test subjects. Even so, women bear exclusive health concerns, such as breast cancer, cervical cancer, menopause, and pregnancy. Women suffer higher heart attack deaths compared to men.
Depression and anxiety are exhibited more frequently among female patients. Urinary tract conditions present more often in females, and sexually transmitted diseases can cause more harm to women. Among the conditions that present most frequently in women, the following eight illnesses pose considerable health risks.
Here is a general look at some of the health issues that affect women:
Some of the most common health issues and risks facing women today include:
In the United States, heart disease causes one in every four deaths among women. Although the public considers heart disease a common issue among men, the condition affects males and females nearly equally. Yet, only 54 percent of women realize that heart disease is the top health condition threatening their gender. In the United States, 49 percent of all consumers suffer from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or smoke; factors that contribute to heart disease.
Breast cancer, which typically originates in the lining of the milk ducts, can spread to other organs and is the most aggressive cancer affecting the global female population. The condition presents more among female populations in developed nations due to their extended life spans.
Initially, women afflicted with breast cancer may develop breast lumps. Most breast lumps are non-threatening, but it is important for women to have each one checked by a care provider.
Ovarian and Cervical Cancer
Many people are not aware of the differences between ovarian and cervical cancer. Cervical cancer originates in the lower uterus, while ovarian cancer starts in the Fallopian tubes. While both conditions cause similar pain, cervical cancer also causes discharge and pain during intercourse. While ovarian cancer presents extremely vague symptoms, the condition is very complex. Finally, Pap smears detect cervical but not ovarian cancer.
Bleeding and discharge are a normal part of the menstrual cycle. However, added symptoms during menstruation may indicate health issues, and unusual symptoms, such as bleeding between menstruation and frequent urinating, can mimic other health conditions. Vaginal issues could also indicate serious problems such as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or reproductive tract cancer. While care providers might treat mild infections easily, if left unchecked, they can lead to conditions such as infertility or kidney failure.
Pre-existing conditions can worsen during pregnancy, threatening the health of a mother and her child. Asthma, diabetes, and depression can harm the mother and child during pregnancy if not managed properly. Pregnancy can cause a healthy mother’s red blood cell count to drop, a condition called anemia, or induce depression. Another problem arises when a reproductive cell implants outside the uterus, making further gestation unfeasible. Fortunately, obstetricians can manage and treat common and rare health issues that emerge during pregnancies.
Autoimmune disease occurs when body cells that eliminate threats, such as viruses, attack healthy cells. As this condition continues to escalate among the population, researchers remain baffled as to why the condition affects mostly women. While many distinct autoimmune diseases exist, most share symptoms such as:
● Mild fever
● Skin irritation
Most of the autoimmune system rests in the stomach. Duly, many who suffer from this condition have resorted to natural healing practices, such as:
● Consuming less sugar
● Consuming less fat
● Lowering stress
● Reducing toxin intake
However, the best defense against autoimmune disease is early detection.
Osteoporosis weakens bones, allowing them to break easily. Several factors can cause the condition that occurs mostly in women, such as:
● Alcohol consumption
● Certain prescriptions
● Lack of exercise
● Low body mass
● Steroid use
To detect the condition, care providers measure bone density using an X-ray or ultrasound diagnostic. While no cure exists for osteoporosis, care providers can prescribe treatment to impede illness progression, which might include dietary supplements, healthy lifestyle choices, or prescription medication.
Natural hormonal fluctuations can lead to depression or anxiety. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) occurs commonly among women, while premenstrual dysmorphic disorder (PMDD) presents similar, but greatly intensified, symptoms. Shortly after birth, many mothers acquire a form of depression called the “baby blues,” but perinatal depression causes similar – but much stronger – concerns, emotional shifts, sadness, and tiredness. Perimenopause, the shift into menopause, can also cause depression. No matter how intense the symptoms, care providers can provide relief with a prescription or therapeutic treatments.
A shocking 75% of American women are on prescription drugs, compared to only 56% of men. Yet this is not getting any healthier. And the quest for health is an expensive endeavor. In 1998, Americans spent $73 billion on prescription medications. By 2016 that number had risen to $329 billion for the year! Sadly, two-thirds of that outrageous spending was for women.
Prescriptions are not only expensive, but they come with a variety of side effects that can be more or just as dangerous as the condition they treat! It’s little wonder so many women are seeking natural solutions. Remedies from nature are often easier to access, and heaper, and some of them can get to the root cause of the issue, rather than simply cover up the symptoms.
1. HEART HEALTH
When you consider the national statistics on heart disease, you begin to understand why this is the most urgent health concern for women. According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for 1 in 5 women in the United States. However, only 56% of women recognize this danger.
The term ‘heart disease’ actually refers to several different heart conditions. These include heart attack, coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, as well as cardiovascular disease, which refers to conditions with blocked or narrowed blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Things that affect your heart’s valves, muscles, or rhythm are considered heart disease. High blood pressure (hypertension) does not necessarily mean you have heart disease; however, it definitely increases the risk.
Overweight and obesity
High sodium diet
Lack of exercise
The most surprising item on this list is probably gut health. A recent study highlighted a connection between poor gut health and increased incidence of arterial hardening, a well-known risk factor for heart disease. In contrast, researchers saw a decreased incidence of arterial stiffness in those with a more diverse (healthier) microbiome. Another study, published just a year ago, compared the stools of 218 people with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ACVD) to 187 healthy individuals. They noted vast differences between the microbiomes of the two sets, indicating a link between an unhealthy gut and ACVD.
According to Dr. JoAnn Manson, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, “There’s a complex interplay between the microbes in our intestines and most of the systems in our bodies, including the vascular, nervous, endocrine, and immune systems. All of these relationships are highly relevant to cardiovascular health.”
Dr. Manson and colleagues published a study in 2017 where they saw a strong connection between blood levels of a certain substance called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), a byproduct of eating red meat, fish, poultry, and eggs. What happens is certain gut bacteria feed on a nutrient in these foods called choline. This creates a substance called trimethylamine (TMA), which your liver then converts into TMAO. TMAO has been strongly connected to the development of artery-clogging plaques, heart attacks, and strokes. Dr. Manson’s study found that those with high TMAO had a 62% higher risk of “serious” cardiovascular events than people with low levels.
Significantly, this risk was determined to NOT be connected to other risk factors like obesity, diabetes, and kidney function. In other words, even if you are not obese, and do not have diabetes or kidney problems, having a high level of TMAO as a result of an abundance of certain gut choline-eating bacteria and eating high-choline foods such as red meat, fish, poultry, and, eggs puts you at a 62% higher risk of heart disease and problems.
What all of this and other growing research seems to indicate is that ensuring your gut has a wide diversity of organisms and that your digestive system is functioning optimally may be a foundational way to decrease the risk of heart disease and ensure a healthier heart. We look at other ways to naturally support heart health later on.
2. WEIGHT GAIN
Unwanted weight gain is not just a matter of inconvenience or aesthetics (how it looks, or how you prefer to look), it’s a red flag that can signal developing health problems. In addition, added weight increases the risk of disease.
Conditions science connects to excess weight include:
High blood pressure
Type 2 diabetes
Fatty liver disease
Pregnancy problems (high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and increased risk for cesarean delivery) According to some sources, each pound of excess weight increases the risk of disease. When you get up into higher numbers of excess weight, the data gets a little scary. For example, some experts calculate that thirty pounds of extra weight may increase the risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes by 40, 75, and 100% respectively, with the risk for breast cancer risk jumping to 110%.
With these same metrics, some estimate that 55 pounds of excess weight would make the risk of heart disease jump to 80%, with the risk for both breast cancer and diabetes tripling to over 300% each. One Swedish study found that people roughly 30 pounds overweight with high cholesterol and high blood pressure had a terrifying 500% increase in the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Factors that can affect your weight include:
Unbalanced microbiome (gut)
Food allergies or intolerances
Diet insufficient in essential nutrients Malabsorption of nutrients Ineffective or incomplete elimination Many things on this list can create or be part of a cycle of cause and effect. Meaning, one issue leads to another, and in turn, they each trigger other issues and even each other, and/or combine to influence other problems. It’s a ‘which came first — the inflammation, hormone imbalance, or the insulin resistance’ type of situation.
To discover what is causing your weight gain, or your challenges in releasing your extra weight, all of the above should be considered. However, the foundation of health starts with nutrition. You want to make sure you are not only consuming all the nutrients your body needs to function best — things like omega 3s, Vitamins K2 and D3, glutathione, and more that we discuss further — you want to ensure you are ABSORBING the nutrients.
Proper absorption depends on several systems, processes, and factors. These include hormones, enzymes, and even your gut flora. Hand in hand with absorption is proper elimination. Your body must be able to efficiently and completely remove toxins and waste from your body, otherwise, more toxins are created. Assisting your body in proper elimination means giving it a fighting chance by including several antioxidants in your diet and ensuring your lymphatic system, kidneys, and liver are functioning well—flushing out toxins and waste.
In addition, your body’s waste disposal system (gut and colon) must be running well, without toxic build-up, constipation, or inflammation that can create further toxicity.
Also, if you’re not expelling waste properly, your body can’t absorb nutrients effectively, undermining a healthy diet or the benefits of nutritional supplements. Anything you can do to help your body eliminate toxins, free radicals (oxidants), or parasites, and flush them out, the better. All things that help moderate inflammatory response naturally, and ensure the availability and absorption of nutrients, will help your body be able to naturally heal and achieve a healthy weight.
More than 40 million adults in the United States are affected by anxiety disorders, yet just under 37% receive treatment. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, women are twice as likely to get an anxiety disorder at some time in their life.
Anxiety often coincides with other health conditions such as:
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Adult ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactive
BDD (body dysmorphic disorder)
Many people with anxiety disorders also experience depression. Of course, depression can be independent of anxiety. There are different types of depression, but nearly all types of depression affect more women than men. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that twice as many women than men are likely to have a depressive episode.
Some basic stats on depression:
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is categorized as a collection of serious depressive symptoms that last for a period of two weeks or more. It affects about 7% of the population per year, the majority of them women. The average age for this condition to develop is 32.5 years. Persistent depressive disorder (PDD) is considered a ‘low-level depression’, that is not as severe as MDD but may last longer. In general, a diagnosis means depressive symptoms have been present for two or more years. It affects around 1.9% of women, compared to 1% of men.
Seasonal depression, also known as a seasonal affective disorder, includes a time of major depression, with mood influenced by the seasons. Four out of five people with this disorder are women. Postnatal (postpartum) depression is different from the “baby blues”. The “baby blues affects up to 80% of new mothers and usually lasts about 2 weeks as the body’s hormones rebalance, and the mother recovers from labor. These feelings of sadness, worry, and fatigue go away on their own. Postnatal depression presents with more serious symptoms, lasts longer, and may require treatment.
According to the NIMH (the National Institute for Mental Health), with “postpartum depression, feelings of sadness and anxiety can be extreme and might interfere with a woman’s ability to care for herself or her family.”
Stress, which may or may not be correlated to anxiety and depression, is also a common health concern for women. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), chronic stress is on the rise in the US, as are the physical symptoms or effects of stress. In fact, according to an annual poll, Americans are the most stressed-out people on the planet!
Just this year, the New York Times reported that out of over 150,000 people polled worldwide, Americans reported the most stress, with 55% saying they felt stress for most of the day. Globally, that statistic was just 35%. Similarly, 45% of Americans polled said they had felt significant worry the previous day.
That’s a lot of people anxious, stressed, and depressed! That makes the odds that you are included in those numbers quite high. The problem with that is the toll each of these three conditions can take on the body. Likewise, these conditions can overlap. Stress can trigger anxiety, anxiety can be part of depression, and depression can create stress and anxiety.
Depression and anxiety can limit your activities, which can further affect mental health in terms of lack of support, or your happiness quotient. It may also limit your physical activity, which, of course, will affect your overall health.
However, of these last three health issues, stress is the most damaging to your body and health. Though research is showing that men and women respond to stress differently, it is widely accepted that chronic stress is extremely harmful to your health and well-being.
Stress can lead to:
Upset stomach, cramps, bloating, heartburn, IBS Weight loss, or gain.
Breakouts, hives, rashes
Lack of focus
Considered the root cause of many diseases, including autoimmune disorders and cancer In keeping with the theme of the body’s health conditions affecting the overall homeostasis of its complex systems and processes, if stress creates or contributes to one of the conditions listed above, they can, in turn, contribute to or create other problems. For example, lack of sleep can contribute to irritability or a lack of focus. Lack of proper sleep will also increase the stress hormone cortisol. A weakened immune system can lead to greater health concerns.
Weight gain by stress eating can lead to the risks we discussed above. Your body is a delicate system! Anything you can do to lower stress will be of benefit.
Some of the main lifestyle changes you can make to lower stress levels include:
Participate in cortisol-lowering activities like deep breathing, meditation, and yoga.
Makes choices that:
• Allow you more time to sleep
• Create a better sleep
• Allow you more downtime to relax and have fun
• Lower pressure on you: lowering your budget
• Ensure you eat regular balanced meals
• Get enough healthy exercise or fun physical activities
Laugh more — laughter is incredibly healing and releases good hormones that can help lower stress Get more hugs! That’s right, studies show that more frequent hugs from a partner or loved one increase calming oxytocin levels in women, and even lowers cortisol and blood pressure. Another thing you can do to help with stress is to consume high-quality supplements that are proven to lower cortisol, like fish oil (omega-3), ashwagandha, and other adaptogens.
6. LOW ENERGY
Stimulants like caffeine just burn out your precious adrenal system. But not having enough energy to get through a day can simply become intolerable. Besides this, low energy can be a sign of deeper health issues, and should never be dismissed as ‘just part of life’ for too long. Many Western doctors don’t take low energy very seriously as a symptom. So what can you do?
The first thing is to look at the possible causes of your low energy. There are several basic factors that can contribute to this. Here are some places to begin, when seeking the root cause of your low energy.
Sleep is a basic physiological requirement for all humans. Lack of sleep can lead to a great many health problems, including low energy. Whatever it takes to make sure you are getting sufficient, uninterrupted, and fully restful sleep—able to go through all the sleep cycles—you must do. This should not include sleeping pills. This could include things to lower your cortisol (and overall stress), like meditation, hot baths, exercise, supplements, etc.
Parasites are designed to live undetected. Their survival depends on you not knowing they are there. Even testing for parasites (if you can even convince your doctor to do this), is not reliable. Yet, you could have more than one common parasite living inside you, literally sucking the life out of you. They also can emit low-level amounts of toxins as part of their life cycle, increasing the tax on your body.
Your gas engine cannot run on diesel fuel. That is a fact. How can we expect our body to run well if we are not giving it the best, or even the correct fuel? By now you are probably aware that our soil is not providing the same level of vitamins and minerals (nutrients) in our fresh produce that our grandparents grew up with. That is an unfortunate fact of the times we live in. Likewise, the quality of seeds and breeds of fresh foods is somewhat skewed. They have been modified in a variety of ways, mainly to ensure they ripen quickly and are less prone to attack by disease or insects.
If our fresh produce has become increasingly less nutritious, where do we begin when discussing processed foods? Processing removes many of the good things that do make it into our food and often adds several artificial ingredients in the name of shelf life, taste, and even cost-cutting. Manufacturers will even add chemicals and fillers in order to make foods more “addictive”! Yet, even if you are on an organic, plant-based diet and taking supplements to get an array of vitamins
and minerals…You could be malnourished.
In fact, you aren’t “what you eat,” you’re what you ABSORB. Many women don’t realize that if their gut health, the health of their liver, kidneys, or lymphatic system is compromised, they may not be absorbing much nutrition at all. So you could be eating all the right things, but if your gut (microbiome) is out of balance, you may not be absorbing nutrients well. Likewise, if your liver, kidneys, and lymphatics are struggling to remove toxins and waste from your body, you may have malabsorption.
Ensuring your gut is balanced, your body is detoxifying itself efficiently, and completely, as well nourishing yourself with the right foods, vitamins, and minerals are essential to creating a foundation for having the energy you want to live a vibrant life. Other causes of low energy can include candida overgrowth, anemia, heart problems, autoimmune disease, imbalanced hormones, thyroid problems, and low-grade infection.
7. HORMONAL ISSUES:
You’ve probably been hearing about your hormones since you were a teenager. Women, especially it seems, are ruled by our hormones for what seems like our entire lives! It starts out with puberty and the onset of menstruation. We hear about how hormones make us a woman, make us moody, and make us grow. A woman’s hormones are blamed on skin breakouts, weight gain, bloating, and PMS.
If you’re trying to get pregnant you may be injecting hormones into your body. If you have had a hysterectomy you may need to take hormones. If you breastfeed, hormone levels can create havoc in your life, too. It can feel like everything in life is hormones, hormones, hormones! Then as we get older, women go through ‘the change’. As a society, women are trained to fear this period of life. We hear about night sweats soaking through the sheets, hot flashes, random bleeding, loss of sexual desire, and intense mood swings.
There’s much you can do to get and help keep your hormones in balance. The first thing to understand is that while you hear a lot about estrogen and progesterone, those are just two hormones out of the 50 or so that our body secretes circulates, and uses to function. As with just about every other system or aspect of our body, all of these hormones are designed to work in harmony. Their synergy is vital to your health. As well, hormones are created in multiple areas of your body: your brain, pancreas, gut (microbiome), ovaries—just to name a few!
Here is a list of symptoms that may indicate hormone imbalance:
Weight gain or weight loss
Sensitivity to cold and heat
Dry skin or skin rashes
Changes in blood pressure or heart rate
Brittle or weak bones
Elevated or low blood sugar
Irritability and anxiety
Changes in bathroom behavior (frequency, urgency)
Changes in appetite
Lower sex drive
Thinning, brittle hair
Deepening of the voice (females)
Heavy, irregular, or painful periods
Osteoporosis (weak, brittle bones)
Hot flashes and night sweats
Acne (during or just before menstruation)
Fibroids, or uterine bleeding not associated with menstruation Increased hair growth on the face, neck, chest, or back
Thinning hair or hair loss
As one doctor explains it, “Hormones act like traffic signs and signals by telling your body what to do and when, and making sure its machinery runs smoothly and maintains homeostasis or balance.” Knowing this, you can understand how getting your hormones into balance requires a multi-level approach. You need to address the entire body, and support its function, to attain optimal hormone balance.
Here are some ways to support hormone balance:
Yes, sleep again. Lack of sleep can play real havoc on your hormones. For full function, your brain needs uninterrupted sleep that permits it to pass through all five stages of each sleep cycle. “Sleep deprivation causes imbalances in many hormones, and in turn, the imbalance of these hormones causes more sleep deprivation,” according to functional medicine practitioner, Veronica Anderson, MD, IFMCP.
In particular, insulin, ghrelin, leptin, cortisol, and growth hormone are all affected by sleep. For example, if you don’t get enough sleep, you temporarily become insulin-resistant. Even just one bad night can create this, according to a 2010 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Another example we find in scientific research, less than 6.5 hours of sleep affects leptin and ghrelin levels — two hormones directly connected to your appetite. Your thyroid hormones are also affected by sleep. This can slow your metabolism and cause your thyroid function to wane.
Cortisol, the “stress hormone” also is affected by lack of sleep. Normally your cortisol level should decrease at night, allowing you to sleep. Studies have shown that cortisol levels can fall up to six times more slowly if you are sleep-deprived. In turn, “Elevations of evening cortisol levels in chronic sleep loss are likely to promote the development of insulin resistance, a risk factor for obesity and diabetes.” Increased cortisol also affects your “sex” hormones, including testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. This can not only affect your sex drive (libido), but any change to these key hormones will affect your reproductive system and more.
Making sure you get enough quality sleep is very important for hormone balance.
ANY amount of exercise or physical activity is better than none. As they say—sitting is the new smoking. Inactivity is hurting us, while any increase in physical activity has a tremendous benefit.
Among its benefits, exercise (even just walking) helps:
Control insulin levels and decrease insulin resistance. Support hormones that help maintain muscle and which normally decline with age. Namely, DHEA, growth hormone, testosterone, and IGF-1 Increase adiponectin, a hormone that helps regulate metabolism and has anti-inflammatory effects.
Balance thyroid hormone levels and control how efficiently the body uses them Reduce some of the effects of cortisol
What you eat—and absorb! (see above)—It is extremely important to have balanced hormones. Insulin, serotonin, cortisol, dopamine, estrogen, and testosterone can all be affected by the food choices you make. Each nutrient plays a role in how your hormones function and how your body uses them. In particular, diets high in sugar and refined carbs will eventually knock your insulin levels out of whack.
Studies show that even fructose (sugar from fruit, agave, honey, and maple syrup) can increase insulin levels that promote insulin resistance and related conditions, like PCOS… Especially if you are already overweight, obese, or have prediabetes or diabetes. The consumption of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) may also be beneficial for hormone balance. Consuming MCTs and other ‘healthy’ fats like fish oil, and olive or avocado oil may help lower insulin resistance by increasing insulin sensitivity.
It also triggers the release of hormones that help you feel full and satisfied. They also have been seen to be anti-inflammatory and decrease both cortisol and adrenaline.
As important as what you eat is how much you eat. Undereating can affect your hormone levels. Studies have shown that restricting calories to under 1200 per day increases cortisol and that calorie-restricted diets can even trigger insulin resistance. Overeating has its own pitfalls and will affect your hormone balance, especially as it relates to insulin and cortisol. Alcohol can curb health efforts, in part because of the ways it can contribute to gut imbalance. Your gut flora must be in balance for hormones like serotonin and dopamine to be manufactured and used effectively.
A yeast overgrowth (candida) can also affect your hormones. What you eat will “feed or starve” candida, and other organisms in your microbiome. There are many natural supplements you can use to help heal your body so that your hormones are in balance. Other ways to naturally support hormone balance include managing stress (especially cortisol levels), reducing sugar in your diet, upping your fiber intake, quitting smoking, drinking green tea, reducing dairy intake, and making sure you are getting adequate protein (amino acids).
Research has demonstrated that this adaptogen has multiple healing properties including possessing anti-cancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor properties. Ashwagandha has also been found to have positive influences on endocrine and central nervous systems.
Other health benefits of ashwagandha that research has confirmed include:
Lowers blood sugar levels
Reduces cortisol levels
Helps with severe depression
Increases muscle mass and strength
Helps fight infection
Reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels
Promotes antioxidant activity and reduces
free radical damage
Reduces oxidative stress.
Helps induce the programmed death of cancer cells.
People with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and Type 1 diabetes should be cautious with ashwagandha. Consult your healthcare professional. Additionally, caution is needed if you are taking medication for thyroid disease, as ashwagandha may increase thyroid hormone levels in some people—A case where the natural healing that occurs lowers the need for thyroid supplementation, potentially causing an overabundance of thyroid hormones. A natural healthcare practitioner should be able to guide you.
Berberine is a natural chemical found in that is found in some 450 plants, including goldenseal, European barberry, and tree turmeric. This plant extract has been a staple in Chinese and other traditional medical practices. In recent decades berberine has been studied for its many health benefits.
Benefitting heart and cardiovascular health and function
Lowering blood pressure (decreasing hypertension)
Balancing blood sugar
Curbing insulin resistance
Supporting antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties
Improving bone health
Helping rebalance gut flora
Promoting anti-cancer properties
Reducing fat build-up in the liver
When compared to lifestyle changes alone, berberine was found to be as effective as common medications in lowering blood sugar levels, and lipid levels, and decreasing hypertension. The upsides were decreased cost (the herb is cheaper than common medicines) and the absence of serious side effects.
A 2008 study demonstrated that berberine combined with cinnamon extract had better “anti-diabetic” effects than leading prescription medication for people with elevated blood sugar, or Type 2 diabetes. In another study, one gram of berberine per day lowered fasting blood sugar by 20% and also improved levels of blood lipids, like cholesterol and triglycerides. Other studies suggest berberine helps with weight loss and can improve symptoms and markers of metabolic syndrome.
Berberine can decrease the speed the liver breaks down some medications. You should also take precautions if you are taking medications to lower your cholesterol or blood pressure.
If you are not digesting and absorbing nutrients, your body is not getting enough of the right “fuel” to function well, let alone heal. If your body is dealing with inflammation, it may not be digesting food efficiently. Supplementing with digestive enzymes can reduce the burden on your digestive organs—the stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, and small intestine—by making foods easier to digest.
They do this by helping your body to break down harder-to-digest proteins, starches, and fats. Sometimes your body does not produce adequate amounts of the many enzymes required for proper digestion. Supplementing with quality enzymes can correct this.
Signs that you might benefit from taking digestive enzymes include the following symptoms:
Acid reflux, heartburn, GERD
Joint pain and arthritis
Dull or dry skin
Irritability and mood swings
Migraines and headaches
This plant is also known as the “shy plant” and has been used by Ayurvedic practitioners for thousands of years. It’s been used to treat a wide variety of conditions, and research has shown that it has many medicinal properties.
Among these, mimosa pudica holds the following benefits:
Antipyretic (lowers fever)
Lowers blood sugar
Lowers blood pressure
Helps purify blood
Helps menstrual cramps
Supports uterine health
Treats eczema and psoriasis (topically)
Acts as a diuretic
Promotes liver healing
Assists with detox
Promotes gut (microbiome) health
Helps sciatic nerve regeneration
This plant will actually paralyze parasites, so your body can purge them. In fact, two separate studies concluded that mimosa pudica is as effective as the leading anti-parasite medication. Mimosa pudica acts as a powerful internal “scrubber”. It will work its way through the intestinal walls, pulling out parasites, toxins, heavy metals, biofilms, and other unwanted elements to provide immune and digestive support. This plant was a stand-out component of my healing protocol, and in getting rid of parasites that were ravaging my body without me knowing!
Wormwood is actually a cousin of the Daisy family. As a known, natural anti-parasitic herb it’s used to help eliminate intestinal worms, especially pinworms, and roundworms. Wormwood is also used to treat anorexia, Crohn’s disease, SIBO, insomnia, anemia, lack of appetite, flatulence, stomachache, and indigestion. It’s also antibacterial and antimicrobial, proving effective to fight Candida overgrowths.
Omega-3 fatty acids—especially DHA and EPA—are essential to health, healing, and longevity. It’s something your body needs to function at the basic level and must be consumed because your body cannot manufacture it. Sadly, many people are deficient in this essential nutrient. Fish oil is an excellent source of DHA and EPA.
Science has studied and shown that omega-3 helps
Support heart health and function
Support cardiovascular health and function
Protect the heart
Protect your cardiovascular system
Support brain function and longevity
Support erectile dysfunction
Lower Depression, Anxiety & Stress
Support Mental illness Improve metabolism
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Prevent and support Alzheimer’s
Prevent and support dementia
Lower oxidative stress
Support healthy immunity
Balance blood sugar
Prevent tumor proliferation
Support hormone balance
Note: During pregnancy and after childbirth
Women should be especially aware of the need to
consume enough omega-3.
Hopefully, you are already aware of the importance that probiotics and prebiotics play in your quest to heal your gut (microbiome). In addition, these building blocks for a balanced gut and diversity in gut flora can help naturally support you in healing autoimmune disease, inflammation, depression, anxiety, hormone balance, and more.
Here are some important, general facts:
Your gut contains trillions and trillions of organisms that are not only part of your digestive system but contribute to mood, hormone balance, and even brain function. This environment is called your microbiome. The organisms are known collectively as the microbiota. The symbiotic balance of these organisms in your microbiome is essential to overall health, but in particular for a healthy immune response and inflammation.
“Probiotics” is the term used for a variety of beneficial bacteria that are essential for a healthy set of microbiota and microbiome.
Prebiotics are fundamentally food for your microbiota. They often come in the form of soluble fiber and resistant starches that encourage a healthy balance in your microbiome, by feeding the probiotics. While many people know that getting good probiotics is important, they often overlook the value of prebiotics. Optimal health is achieved with a balance of both.
Your gut has been found to directly influence anxiety levels. Both probiotics and prebiotics help reduce cortisol. Researchers have observed that Alzheimer’s patients frequently demonstrate unhealthy microbiota patterns. As long as 100 years ago, doctors believed an unhealthy gut led to chronic infection, stress, and inflammation.
A 2015 study showed Lactobacillus acidophilus could reduce gut inflammation. Probiotics are known to quicken healing in gastrointestinal infections, as well as the cold or flu, decrease blood pressure, and provide relief from ulcerative colitis, IBS, and Crohn’s disease.
The Arthritis Foundation lists probiotics as “crucial” to both health and supporting life with arthritis. We really could go on for several pages about both probiotics and prebiotics. After all, “probiotic” means “for life”, or “pro” life. Keeping your microbiome filled with happy and balanced microbiota is the foundation of all healing. The easiest and surest way to keep your microbiome happy is to eat a healthy, diverse, and high-fiber diet.
But if you are out of balance, you may have to increase the balance of ‘good’ bacteria. In fact, experts recommend daily supplementation with good-quality prebiotics and probiotics.
One challenge consumers face is that most probiotics sold in foods come from dairy, which is often a trigger for yet more inflammation and/or autoimmune issues. These types of foods are also notorious for containing far fewer probiotics than advertised. Unfortunately the same applies to many store-bought probiotic supplements, as well.
Even with the more expensive, refrigerated probiotics, you have no way of knowing how many live bacteria are present, simply because there are so many environmental factors in transit, storage, and stocking shelves that can compromise (or completely kill) them!
A plant-based probiotic is more stable and doesn’t need refrigeration. You’ll be looking for a variety of organisms, including:
Lactobacillus Plantarum, Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, marine polysaccharides, fructooligosaccharide (FOS), and Bifidobacterium lactis. Prebiotics are much more stable. They easily survive the long journey from your mouth to your intestines. Probiotics are more of a challenge in this way, so finding a formula that has a high number of bacteria (often called CFUs, for Colony colony-forming units) and that offers some kind of capsule protection is ideal.
The number of CFUs will ensure you get the most ‘soldiers in the field’ as it were, and a capsule with protective shielding allows it to travel to your gut and ensure they arrive ready to make a home in your microbiome.
Get your microbiota in balance, keep them happy and healthy with continued supplementation, and a top-notch diet, and you can witness the anti-anxiety, anti-stress, autoimmune, and inflammation support and more yourself.
Please click on the following for definition and information:
Milk Thistle (Silymarin)
I hope you have found some helpful information that will assist you in living a healthy life. Always research the medications you are taking and that includes the herbal. I am not a woman and there are some things I can not relate to. I have read several articles and visited many websites to provide you with what I consider important.
Thank you for reading.
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