Welcome to my Podcast, Regenerate You! I’m Dr. Nirvana and in this episode, we will discuss the signs and symptoms of hormonal imbalances and what you can do to heal your body by regenerating your hormonal health.
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, everyday!
On which ingredients to buy and how to put the recipe together. Itake your entire picture, along with your labs, to to paint a clear picture of how you got to where you are, what to do to fix it, and what’s coming down the pipeline if you don’tact now.
If you’re suffering from symptoms of imbalance, hair loss, chronic fatigue, PMS, hypothyroidism, adrenal dysfunction, fibroids, endometriosis and have seen everyone and tried everything,I can offer you solutions on your healing journey that will help you to get your life back. A full life of fun, happiness and ease. It’s time to end your needless suffering.
Express your Gratitude in February, for your Health’s Sake
Simple Approaches to Love your Health More
Gratitude Improves Physical Health
Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences. Not surprisingly, grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health. They exercise more often and are more likely to attend regular check-ups, which is likely to contribute to further longevity. Research shows that when we think about what we appreciate, the parasympathetic or calming part of the nervous system is triggered and that can have protective benefits on the body, including decreasing cortisol levels and perhaps increasing oxytocin, the bonding hormone involved in relationships that make us feel so good.
Gratitude Improves Psychological Health
Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Robert Emmons, a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.
The benefits of gratitude start with the dopamine system, because feeling grateful activates the brain stem region that produces dopamine. Additionally, gratitude toward others increases activity in social dopamine circuits, which makes social interactions more enjoyable. Like the anti-depressant medications, gratitude increases circulating levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin.
Writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep, according to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. Spend just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed, and you may sleep better and longer. The University of Manchester in England was interested in the effect that gratitude might have on people’s snooze time. Their study included over 400 adults (40% of whom had sleep disorders) who filled out questionnaires about gratitude, sleep and thoughts that they had prior to falling asleep (“pre-sleep thoughts”). Gratitude was related to having more positive thoughts – and less negative ones – at bedtime. This phenomenon was consequently related to falling asleep faster and having more restful sleep.
When you make the choice to actively experience and express gratitude throughout the day, you are more likely to naturally have your experience filled with positive thoughts and emotions at bedtime. The way that you choose to fill your heart and mind throughout the day has a natural impact on your mood at bedtime. When you have spent the day filled with worry, fear, or sadness, these experiences try to come to bed with you. Just as you can choose to think thoughts filled with fear, you are equally capable of thinking thoughts filled with gratitude.
You don’t have to “have it all” to experience authentic gratitude. In fact, I would be willing to bet that you have much more than you consciously realize in this very moment. Learning to become mindful of pleasant experiences, to slow down and become mindful throughout the day, and take the time to count your blessings all adds up to a calmer heart and mind at bedtime.
Where to Start
If you tend to experience difficulty with falling asleep or getting restful sleep, consider making the commitment to actively cultivate an attitude of gratitude for the next week. Here are some ideas which you can begin to journal nightly to express your gratitude and love about:
Your home. What memories does it hold? What type of protection does it give you?
Your favorite hobby. What do you love about it? How does it make you feel?
A favorite memory. Why does this memory stick out?
Your free time. What do you like to do in your free time?
Someone important. What role does this person fill in your life? How can you show him or her how grateful you are?
Energy Drinks have Detrimental Effects on Brain Health
Energy drinks are widely promoted as products that increase energy and enhance mental alertness and physical performance. Next to multivitamins, energy drinks are the most popular dietary supplement consumed. There are two kinds of energy drink products. One is sold in containers similar in size to those of ordinary soft drinks, such as a 16-oz. bottle. The other kind, called “energy shots,” is sold in small containers holding 2 to 2½ oz. of concentrated liquid. Caffeine is a major ingredient in both types of energy drink products—at levels of 70 to 240 mg in a 16-oz. drink and 113 to 200 mg in an energy shot. (For comparison, a 12-oz. can of cola contains about 35 mg of caffeine, and an 8-oz. cup of coffee contains about 100 mg.) Another major ingredient in energy drinks includes artificial and “natural” sweeteners (stevia). Caffeine makes the body think is it under stress, which raises the cortisol level, raises the insulin level, and causes carbohydrates to be deposited as fat. In the long run, the brain becomes depleted of the major neurotransmitters that contribute to a variety of mental health concerns such as depression, lethargy, ADD, and insomnia.
Neurotransmitters are molecules that regulate brain function. They are chemicals which relay messages from nerve to nerve both within the brain and outside the brain. They also relay messages from nerve to muscle, lungs, and intestinal tracts. They can accentuate emotion, thought processes, joy, elation and also fear, anxiety, insomnia and that terrible urge to over indulge in food, alcohol, drugs, etc. In short, neurotransmitters are used all over the body to transmit information and signals.
There are two kinds of neurotransmitters – inhibitory and excitatory. Excitatory neurotransmitters are what stimulate the brain. Those that calm the brain and help create balance are called inhibitory. Inhibitory neurotransmitters balance mood and are easily depleted when the excitatory neurotransmitters are overactive such as when they are being artificially stimulated by caffeine.
SEROTONIN is an inhibitory neurotransmitter – which means that it does not stimulate the brain. Adequate amounts of serotonin are necessary for a stable mood and to balance any excessive excitatory (stimulating) neurotransmitter firing in the brain. If you use stimulant medications or caffeine in your daily regimen – it can cause a depletion of serotonin over time. Serotonin also regulates many other processes such as carbohydrate cravings, sleep cycle, pain control and appropriate digestion. Low serotonin levels are also associated with decreased immune system function.
GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is often referred to as “nature’s VALIUM-like substance”. When GABA is out of range (high or low excretion values), it is likely that an excitatory neurotransmitter is firing too often in the brain. GABA will be sent out to attempt to balance this stimulating over-firing.
DOPAMINE is a special neurotransmitter because it is considered to be both excitatory and inhibitory. Dopamine helps with depression as well as focus, which you will read about in the excitatory section.
DOPAMINE is our main focus neurotransmitter. When dopamine is either elevated or low – we can have focus issues such as not remembering where we put our keys, forgetting what a paragraph said when we just finished reading it or simply daydreaming and not being able to stay on task. Dopamine is also responsible for our drive or desire to get things done – or motivation. Stimulants such as medications for ADD/ADHD and caffeine cause dopamine to be pushed into the synapse so that focus is improved. Unfortunately, stimulating dopamine consistently can cause a depletion of dopamine over time.
NOREPINEPHRINE is an excitatory neurotransmitter that is responsible for stimulatory processes in the body. Norepinephrine helps to make epinephrine as well. This neurotransmitter can cause anxiety at elevated excretion levels as well as some mood lowering effects. Low levels of norepinephrine are associated with low energy and decreased focused ability and sleep cycle problems.
EPINEPHRINE is an excitatory neurotransmitter that is reflective of stress. This neurotransmitter will often be elevated when ADHD like symptoms are present. Long term stress or insomina can cause epinephrine levels to be depleted (low). Epinephrine also regulates heart rate and blood pressure.
If you believe that your caffeine consumption has become addictive or is the root cause of your mental health imbalances, please know that a simple test can help to determine your neurotransmitter imbalances. Please contact the office here, to begin.
There are lots of benefits to getting a good night’s sleep: It boosts your mood, increases energy and helps keep your immune system strong so you stay healthy. Needles to say, it can be frustrating when you have trouble falling asleep or you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep. There are certain ways you can help ensure a better night’s sleep, such as avoiding caffeine later in the day, exercising regularly and doing what you can to decrease stress.
It’s not only how much sleep you get that matters, but also when you get it. A bedtime of 10:30pm (at the latest) is advised so that you are asleep by 11pm when the Liver and Gallbladder start to regulate qi (or your vital force), process emotions, balance hormones and detoxify the body.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the window from 11 PM – 3 AM, which correlates to the Liver and Gallbladder, is most important in terms of maintaining health, especially as we age. We experience the deepest part of sleep during the first third of the night. This deep sleep, is the most restorative part of our sleep. During these hours the stress hormone cortisol is reduced and parasympathetic nervous system activity increases, which allows us to fully rest and move away from the fight or flight responses that dominate during waking hours. The quality of this type of sleep is associated with memory and learning. A lack of it can lead to reduced daytime functioning and alertness as well as waking up feeling unrefreshed. Further, human growth hormone, which is essential to repairing our bodies from daily injury and maintaining health, is released from 9pm-7am, making each hour of sleep during this time critical.
There is another aspect of hormones that comes into play when addressing sleep issues. By pinpointing trouble spots in your monthly cycle, where you might be more sensitive to certain changes, can help to shed light on why Mr. Sandman is making his presence less known.
If you think your lack of sleep is due to racing thoughts, this could be to the increase in estrogen levels which boost brain energy. If you feel like your mind is on overdrive and caffeine isn’t to blame, you may have too much estrogen in your system. However if it’s your growling belly is keeping you awake, your elevated progesterone may be to blame. Progesterone also has the task of slowing down your digestion, leading to night time heartburn or even bloating throughout the latter part of your cycle. And lastly, during the week before your cycle begins, your body experiences a large drop in estrogen levels, which then reducing your serotonin levels. This prevents your body from drifting into sleep easier, while becoming more sensitive to light, noise and overall discomfort. This is the time that most refer to as “premenstrual symptoms or PMS”.
The above symptoms help you to know what could be causing problem sleep in your cycle. You likely won’t be experiencing all of these cycle-related sleep woes. But, for the ones you do, knowing why they occur and what to do about them can go a long way toward getting the kind of solid slumber you crave.
If you suffer from sleep issues, and you believe your hormones may be out of balance, a simple test can help. Contact the office to get you started on your healthy pathway to getting more Z’s.
While stress is a universal experience, we all experience it, and it’s a normal and even necessary part of life. We also experience varying degrees of stress based on our personality traits and the resources we have available. In spite of these differences, most people experience stress on a daily basis, and many of the stressors are the same for everyone. Stress is any kind of outside factor that our body perceives as a threat to our safety or well-being. Many people think this only refers to emotional stress or trauma, but it also includes physiological stress on the body, such as infection, traumatic injury, or a poor diet. Stress can also include environmental factors like exposure to chemicals and other toxins.
One of the bodily processes that occurs during acute stress is often referred to as “fight or flight.” It is the defense mechanism that kicks in when we are in danger – or think we are. In addition to the adrenals pumping out more hormones, bodily functions that are unnecessary in the moment (such as digestion), are put on hold to preserve energy for the “fight or flight.”
While this can be a very useful and sometimes life-saving response to a threat, problems can begin to occur if stress becomes frequent or chronic. As the adrenal glands become over-worked, they eventually can’t keep up with the body’s demands for the various hormones they’re responsible for.
How Chronic Stress Affects your Health
The adrenal glands produce more than just cortisol. They also produce neurotransmitters such as adrenaline (epinephrine), norepinephrine, and dopamine. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers (also considered hormones of the brain) that help regulate things like mood, performance, weight, pain perception, and sleep. Depending on the degree to which the adrenals have been affected, the neurotransmitters become unbalanced in various ways.
In addition to neurotransmitters and cortisol, the adrenals also produce small amounts of the hormones estrogen and testosterone. Along with balancing out hormones based on whether a person is male or female, the sex hormones also help keep the negative effects of too much cortisol in check, acting as an antioxidant. But once the adrenals become chronically over-worked, more and more of the precursor materials (used to make sex hormones) get diverted to make cortisol, resulting in a decrease in sex hormones. This results in decreased libido and other symptoms related to hormonal imbalances, such asPMS in women or erectile dysfunction in men.
Blood Sugar Balance
When cortisol is released, another hormone called glucagon is signaled and insulin is then directly suppressed. Glucagon controls glucose storage in the liver so that glucose can be signaled for realease into the blood. Insulin is the hormone that is responsible for regulating the amount of glucose or simple sugars being taken from the bloodstream into the cells.During chronic stress, the cells start to become resistant to insulin, leaving blood glucose levels elevated. This is why insulin resistance is the precursor to type II diabetes. A few symptoms of insulin resistance include inability to lose weight, high cholesterol and triglycerides, brain fog, and elevated blood glucose or insulin levels.
The adrenal glands are part of the HPA-axis and this is where the thyroid comes into play. The adrenals are regulated by the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. When cortisol is released under stress, the hypothalamus and pituitary glands work in a feedback loop with cortisol to slow down their production of hormones all together. Unfortunately, this will inevitably slow down function of the thyroid gland since the hypothalamus and pituitary regulate thyroid hormones as well. Stress can also negatively affect the enzyme that converts inactive thyroid hormone to the active thyroid hormone. There are a few other mechanisms involved in the stress/thyroid dysfunction connection as well. Hypothyroid symptoms such as cold extremities, dry skin, depression, and constipation often indicate lowered adrenal function. Most likely, thyroid treatment will be less effective if the adrenals are not addressed as well.
Stress triggers inflammation. Our body knows that chronic inflammation is damaging, so it compensates by slowing down the immune system in order to keep the inflammation in check. The immune system is also directly suppressed during stress since it is one of those “unnecessary” functions when we’re in “fight or flight” mode. This also affects thyroid health since a suppressed immune system can activate viruses capable of attacking and damaging the thyroid.
As you can see, so many functions in the body are interconnected and related back to adrenal function and the stress response.
How Diet and Lifestyle help Moderate the Effects of Stress
Eat Good Mood Foods
Nuts, dairy, leafy greens, citrus fruits, whole grains, black tea, and raw vegetables, which have all been shown to have a positive impact on mood, therefore decrease stress levels. Walnuts are rich in healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, that help nourish your nervous system and calm your mind. Healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that can help counteract the negative effects of stress hormones.
There are many breathing techniques that take only a few minutes from your day, but will make a significant impact on reducing the effects of stress. Box breathing is one technique used by Navy SEALs to stay calm and focused. It’s easy: find a comfortable spot to lie down. Inhale for 4 seconds, then hold the air in for 4 seconds. Exhale for 4 seconds and hold your lungs empty for 4 seconds. Continue for 5 minutes or however long it takes you to relax, regroup, and refocus; then repeat as necessary.
If you’re interested in balancing your hormones naturally and relieving the stress on your body and mind, please contact the office to begin.