Stress, Immunity and Hormones

Stress, Immunity and Hormones

We have an increasing number of things that demand our time and attention every day. Many of us aren’t sleeping as well as we should and we lead fairly sedentary lifestyles. And many more of us consume a diet filled with chemical additives, preservatives, flavorings and sugar, all which leave us feeling even more stressed and fatigued. We have gadgets that allow us to be accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is seemingly bad news everywhere you turn. We are increasingly becoming a society that is stressed out, overwhelmed and burnt out!

In a healthy body, once the stress has passed and cortisol levels decrease, the hypothalamus signals to the pituitary and adrenals to stop hormone production. But this doesn’t happen when chronic stress is involved.  It becomes a loop of continual release of all of the stress hormones. The result is dysfunction in the HPA axis (hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal). When levels of these hormones, particularly cortisol, remain elevated in the body, specific symptoms will begin to occur.

Symptoms that indicate that stress is causing a hormone imbalance include:

 

1. Poor digestion

When cortisol is released, digestion slows down. This happens so that energy can be conserved and diverted to where it’s needed.  The production of HCL also slows along with the digestion process.  This can often lead to acid reflux, H.Pylori, ulcers, and Leaky Gut.

2. High blood sugar levels

When faced with stress, the body releases glucose to help provide fuel to the body.  This increases blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels remain high for an extended period of time, such as during periods of chronic stress, it can result in blood sugar dysregulation. And the higher the fat in your diet, the less sugar is able to get into the cell to fuel it. This sends signals to your pancreas to release more insulin to get the glucose into the cell, resulting in insulin resistance.

Also high levels of fat in your blood put a major strain on your liver, pancreas, and adrenal glands, which work together to manage your blood sugar levels. With high-fat diets (such as in a Keto and at times Paleo Diet) they can make the liver sluggish and unable to store and release glucose as it should. Excess fat burdens your pancreas because it needs to release enzymes to aid fat digestion. And this also impacts your adrenal health because they flood the body with additional cortisol when your body senses higher levels of fats in your blood. Your body tries to compensate with  excess adrenaline to help move the fat out of your blood, which can also tax the pancreas, reducing its ability to produce enough insulin (and enzymes)  to keep your glucose levels in check. Ultimately leading to a vicious cycle of a burdened liver, pancreas and adrenals.

4. Lowered immune system

When you first deal with a stressor, the body actually stimulates the immune system. This is a defense mechanism that is designed to protect you against infection and help to heal wounds.  But ultimately, the longer the chronic stress remains a problem, the weaker the immune system becomes, because it just can’t keep operating on overdrive forever. The immune system becomes so weak that it leaves you susceptible to viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungal infections. And if the liver is over burdened due to an unhealthy diet, this decreases its ability to detox toxins from your body..so what does it do with them? The toxins get stored in your brain, bone, fat and other organs (including your liver, pancreas and thyroid.

5. Loss of fertility and libido

When cortisol levels are elevated, other systems of the body are put at a level of minimal function and the release of certain hormones is suppressed. This is true for the reproductive system. When stress and Cortisol are high, sex hormone production is kept at a minimum. This causes a loss of reproductive function and libido.

6. Weight gain

While in the midst of a continual stress response, the appetite will increase along with the release of insulin. When facing stress, after the release of Cortisol by the adrenal glands, the body believes that it needs carbohydrates or fatty foods that can easily be stored as an energy reserves in the form of fat. So with chronic stress, your appetite for carbs and fatty food increases….and so does your waistline. Cortisol induced weight gain tends to happen around the abdomen, where the fat cells are more sensitive to the effects of Cortisol. Others have an opposite effect of a lack of appetite from the result of chronic stress. Skipping meals forces your body to use up your liver’s glucose storage, driving the body to run on adrenaline reserves which may be little to none, which can damage your pancreas and lead to insulin resistance as it looks for any type of fuel it can get.

8. Memory loss

When stress becomes chronic, it has a damaging effect on the brain. Production of new brain cells slows or even ceases completely and the brain actually begins to shrink. Cortisol damages the hippocampus…the part of the brain that is responsible for memory, learning and regulating emotions. The result is memory loss, decision making problems and loss of impulse control. Let’s not forget (pun intended) a lowered immune response from stress also allows for other viruses, bacteria or fungus to “come out and play” or seek further refuge in the brain leading to brain fog or memory issues and potential neurodegenerative issues such as Parkinsons, Alzheimer’s or ALS.

 If you’re struggling with any of the above issues, it’s time for you to get to the root cause and heal your body for good. This is why I created the Regenerative Health Program™. It uses my custom-tailored labs to help you finally understand why symptoms are showing up, despite what others are telling you that everything is “normal.”

 

Those aches, pains, brain fog or lack of energy is not a normal part of aging. There is a hidden cause that has yet to be addressed and I’m here to help you discover and heal it.

By investigating your biochemistry and analyzing your diet and current symptoms, I will help you find out if you’re eating based on your genetics and assess which stage of dis-ease you’re experiencing.

And…you’ll discover if your hormones are out of balance, and find clues to gut issues such as hidden infestations such as viruses that your body has been harboring for years.

You’re here right now because your body is trying to get your attention. It’s time to start listening to what your body needs. It’s not about treating the symptoms, but about understanding what your body requires to heal.

When you’re ready, I’m here to walk with you side by side on your path to your very best self!

Everyday Preventative Foods to Boost Immunity

Foods to Improve Your Immune System

Who doesn’t want a healthy immune system? (Raise your hand!) But did you know the role your diet plays in keeping it in top shape to protect you from toxins and infections? Sadly, too many of us don’t eat enough of the fresh fruits, vegetables and other foods we need to keep ourselves healthy year-round. You can’t just eat an orange or grapefruit and expect one quick burst of vitamin C to prevent a cold. A truly healthy immune system depends on a balanced mix of vitamins and minerals over time, plus normal sleep patterns and a daily dose of exercise. With some exceptions, it’s nature’s intent for us to get our vitamins and minerals from our food rather than in pill form. Here are some of my top recommended foods to help boost your immune system, every day.

 

Garlic

This popular ingredient is also known for immune health. It contains a number of compounds that can provide immune support, with the most powerful being allicin. Allicin is converted into sulfur-containing compounds that, as research has shown, may boost the power and response of certain white blood cells. Garlic has shown efficacy in both the treatment and prevention of colds and flu. Chopping and crushing garlic is the best way to activate allicin. So, after chopping, keep your garlic away from heat for 10 minutes before cooking.

 

Green Tea

Green tea is a terrific source of antioxidants and amino acids that can boost immune strength and it’s a tasty beverage too! First, it’s the best source of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to boost immune response to fight infections. Green tea is also a good source of L-theanine, which can enhance immune function by stimulating the secretion of immune-cytokines (early responders to infection). Other sources of L-theanine include coffee, black tea, and oolong tea

 

Lion’s Mane Mushroom

The King of all mushrooms, I think! This is because it’s known to boost the strength of the immune system, helping your body to fight off sickness and stay healthy. It is also good for digestive and colon health, as it contains beta glucan polysaccharides which are considered one of the best foods for health in general. This is because they are immunomodulators which help make your immune system smarter. It can help raise your immune system’s response so your body can naturally fight off and kill bacteria and prevent viral attack. The term immunomodulator here is the real key; it is not an immune stimulant. Immune stimulation presumably occurs with substances like echinacea and colostrum. Beta glucan modulates or activates but never over stimulates, which is key to it’s safety.

 

Elderberry

These delicious berries have been used since ancient times right into the modern age as a daily tonic for keeping illness at bay. Scientific research now confirms many of the properties herbalists have long subscribed to elderberry; they’re anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and they contain constituents like pectin that help the body build and rebuild tissues. Energetically speaking, elderberries are gently warming and stimulating to the body, with a particular focus on the lungs. Because of it’s naturally sweet taste, it’s great for kids too! Start taking this at the first sign of any illness.

If at the end you find that you need extra immune support to boost your immunity, one of the best things you can do is to receive an IV of Vitamin C along with Glutathione to really knock out any infection trying to invade your body!

Using Epsom Salts to Heal

Using Epsom Salts to Heal

Using Epsom Salts to Heal

Baths have been used for centuries for healing and relaxation in numerous cultures. Being in water has an incredible effect on the body and mood. While having a positive effect on the body, mind and the skin (our largest, most absorbable, organ). The human body is made mostly of water and that is why we are encouraged to drink plenty of it. But soaking in it is also extremely beneficial. We can enhance this by adding certain oils or salts to a bath or bathing in a natural body of water or pool, rich in naturally occurring minerals. Hot water opens our pores and causes us to sweat, which is the body’s natural way of cleansing itself.

How can you make your bath experience actually good for your health? By adding in some of salt, but not a typical salt that you eat. I’m referring to Epsom salt!

Epsom salt is named after a saline spring found in the borough of Epsom, England. But it is not actually salt—it’s a naturally-occurring mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. According to studies, magnesium and sulfate are both absorbed through the skin, which makes Epsom salt baths one of the easiest and most ideal ways to enjoy it’s health benefits. Sulfate helps with nutrient absorption, flushes toxins, and helps ease migraines. Sulfate also stimulates the pancreas to generate and digest enzymes that are thought to help detoxify the body from environmental contaminants. To prepare your bath for the ultimate healing experience, add in some Epsom salt. Here’s why:

Research shows that a lot of people lack this important mineral due to magnesium levels declining in our food and environment. Using Epsom salt in your bath and in beauty treatments is one easy way to improve magnesium levels. As a matter of fact, if Epsom salt is used on a regular basis, it can improve symptoms of conditions such as gout, athlete’s foot, sprains, nail fungus, and bruises. And if you’re dealing with chronic diseases or pain, consider adding Epsom salt to your baths routinely.

Further Health Benefits of Epsom Salt

1. Helps muscles and nerves function properly

Research shows that Epsom salt can help regulate electrolytes in the body, which ensures proper functioning of the muscles, nerves, and enzymes.

2. Helps prevent hardening of the arteries and blood clots

According to studies, Epsom salt is believed to improve hearth health and prevent heart disease and strokes by improving blood circulation and protecting the arteries.

3. Makes Insulin more Effective

An adequate amount of magnesium and sulfate levels can help increase the effect of insulin in the body to help with blood sugar dysregulation.

4. Relieves Constipation and Hemorrhoids

If taken internally, Epsom salt can act as a detoxifying agent to cleanse the colon. The salt will act as a laxative as it increases the water in the intestines and provides temporary relief of constipation. But I would not recommend this, because it can be more a purgative than you’d anticipate! But the heat of a warm bath can alleviate pain associated with hemorrhoids or anal fissures.

5. Eliminates toxins from the body

Since skin is highly porous, adding Epsom salt to your bathwater can pull salt and other harmful substances out of your body. So it’s great to do when you’re on a detox. Heating up the body allows the cells to release toxins more readily!

Creating your Epsom Salt Bath

Aim to soak in a warm Epsom salt bath for at least 40 minutes. The first 20 minutes will remove the toxins from the body; the body will absorb the minerals in the bath water for the last half of the bath. But if you start to notice you’re getting light-headed or nauseous, get out as it may be too much, too fast. How much Epsom salt you should add to the bath water is dependent on weight:

  • Children under 60 pounds: Add 1/2 a cup of Epsom salt to a standard-sized bath.
  • Adults between 60 and 100 pounds: Add 1 cup of Epsom salt to your bath.
  • Adults between 100 and 150 pounds: Add 1 1/2 cups of Epsom salt to your bath.
  • Adults between 150 and 200 pounds: Add 2 cups of Epsom salt to your bath.

Prepare the skin by exfoliating and stimulating lymphatic flow using a dry brush on the body prior to entering the tub. Focus on slow deep breaths while in the bath to ease the body further into relaxation. After the bath, while your skin is still warm and slightly damp, apply your favorite essential oil to seal moisture.

*Do not use Epsom salts if you are pregnant, dehydrated, or have open wounds or burns on your skin*

Sources:
Jockers, D., “The remarkable health benefits of Epsom salt baths,” Natural News web site, November 2, 2013; http://www.naturalnews.com/042753_Epsom_salt_baths_remarkable_health_benefits_detoxificatin_technique.html.
“Epsom Salt Uses & Benefits,” Salt Works web site, http://www.saltworks.us/salt_info/epsom-uses-benefits.asp, last accessed July 28, 2015

My Top Anti-Viral Protection Tips

My Top Anti-Viral Protection Tips

Welcome to Regenerate You! I’m Dr. Nirvana. In this podcast, I discuss what I use to help protect myself, my family and my patients from all viruses including COVID-19. Many of my patients have been asking what they can do to help support their immune system against COVID. What’s important to remember is that it’s not just about keeping viral particles away from the nose, mouth and eyes. There are other methods to entry that most don’t think when it comes to protecting the body. In this Podcast, I share my tips on protecting the body from viruses, as well as the one part of the body that is at most risk. 

If you’re looking for additional advice, feel free to visit my blog here. You can also stay connected with me on my Facebook page @DrNirvanaHeals or on my Instagram @DrNirvana.

To purchase your Gut Be Calm™, please click here.

Please subscribe and share this podcast to spread the health.

 

And remember, when you regenerate, there’s a new you every day!

Prevent Your Cells from Aging Prematurely

Prevent Your Cells from Aging Prematurely

In this episode I will be discussing how to prevent your cells from aging prematurely and what you can do to help them live longer while regenerating them healthier than before so that you can prevent your risk to developing diseases such as heart disease, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

If you’re looking for additional advice, feel free to visit my blog here. You can also stay connected with me on my Facebook page @DrNirvanaHeals or on my Instagram @DrNirvana.

Please remember to subscribe and to please leave me a review as well!

 

And remember, when you regenerate, there’s a new you every day!

Your Naturopathic Medicine Cabinet for COVID-19

Your Naturopathic Medicine Cabinet for COVID-19

Welcome to Regenerate You, I’m Dr. Nirvana!

In this episode I want to share my Naturopathic tools to help keep your immune system as healthy as possible. COVID has turned the world upside down and my goal is to help you turn it right side up. So join me in discussing some of my very favorite tips to help you fight and prevent the Coronavirus naturally!

You can purchase the Gut Be Calm™ here & if you’re interested in scheduling an appointment for a Vitamin C IV, please contact the office.

During this difficult time, my office is still open to those looking to prevent the virus naturally. From offering Vitamin C IVs, Immune Shots, and various Vitamin Shots; my doors are open to you. Please do not hestiate to inquire about the various services I am currently offering in-office and by phone to help build your immune system against COVID.

If you’re looking for additional advice, feel free to visit my blog You can also stay connected with me on my Facebook page @DrNirvanaHeals or on my Instagram @DrNirvana.

Please remember to subscribe and to please leave me a review as well!

 

And remember, when you regenerate, there’s a new you every day!