Getting Rid Of Wrinkles Begins In The Gut

Getting Rid Of Wrinkles Begins In The Gut

I usually write articles about different digestive issues and challenges that arise out of the gut, but today I decided to write about something that most of us women (and men) are trying to fend off with the aging process! That is wrinkles. Yes, getting rid of wrinkles begins in the gut. How can that be you say? Well, let’s get started.

Our Digestive System

digestive-system-labelled_med

Many people don’t think too much about what happens after they eat their meals. Unless you suffer from digestive illnesses, most of us don’t pay any attention to what we eat, where we eat or how much we eat. The most we think about our food is whether or not we will gain weight with what we eat. Putting food into the “good” or “bad” categories is about the most we think about it.

However, our body and stomach is not the ‘dumb bucket’ we think it is. Our digestive system is busy cleaving proteins to get the minerals out, producing enzymes to digest food, manufacturing hydrochloric acid to break down food further for digestion and absorption plus a myriad of other digestive processes to assist in the functioning of our body.

The stomach is preparing to propel the food into the intestines so nutrition can be absorbed into the bloodstream.  This nutrition from our small intestines properly digested is where the nutrition gets from the bloodstream into our cells so we can have energy, so our hormones work properly, our heart and nervous system work properly and all our organs get what they need, including the skin.

This is a cursory explanation but you can see that after you eat food there is a lot of chemical processes that are taking place beyond our knowledge.

How Do You Get Wrinkles?

Our faces often reveal our age. For some, it may be harder to determine. Whether our faces age gracefully or not is determined by many factors.

As we age our skins protein content is diminished. The skin also loses hydration due to the depletion of what_are_ceramides_in_skin_careceramides which are the protective barrier for the skin. The hyaluronic acid which keeps the skin supple through hydration is another skin element that is lost due to the aging process.

Harmful oxidation increases with age so damaged cells cannot be repaired as easily. Contact with the environment via air, pollution, chemical and radiation stressors accumulate over time. Photoaging via the sun is cumulative and over time shows up as wrinkles and spots.

How Is The Gut Involved?

Our gut and our skin have a lot in common. They are both barrier organs protecting us from environmental toxins. The nerve endings on our skin are the same as in our gut and are in communication with our brain. There is something called the microbiome of the skin. If you are a reader of my blog you are educated about the gut microbiome.  Well now, welcome to the skin microbiome!

This microbiome is protective of the barrier function of our skin as with the gut. Dysbiosis is a disorder of the balance of microbiome in our gut and we can also have dysbiosis of the bacteria on our skin leading to many skin afflictions. Leaky gut is a problem when the small openings of the gut become larger allowing for molecules to enter the bloodstream that should not be there. You can have leaky skin too where the protective microbial barrier of the skin is altered allowing for substances to get through the skin and the bloodstream.

The skin and the gut interact with each other, and because of this, they both can influence the health of each. For instance, SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) in the gut has been associated with those suffering from rosacea, a disease of the skin. If you have IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), you may also suffer from psoriasis or rosacea. If you or your teenager suffer from acne, there is a good chance there is a gut dysbiosis involved.

What You Eat Matters For Your Skin

Now that we know that the gut and the skin communicate, the health of your gut can determine the health of your skin including wrinkle formation.

Foods that harm the microbiome and age your skin are:

  • Sugar – sugar is an inflammatory food that causes an imbalance in the microbiome and can result in leaky gut, gut dysbiosis, and inflammation. When sugar is combined with proteins, the result is AGEs or advanced glycation end products which are damaging to skin’s elastin and collagen resulting in wrinkles and sagging.
  • Wheat products
  • High glycemic carbs
  • Gluten

All for the same reasons as sugar.

Foods That Prevent Wrinkles: Foods that nourish the microbiome

  • Fermented veggies – promotes friendly bacteria
  • Yogurt – fermented, friendly bacteria
  • Green tea – contains polyphenols which are great for skin integrity.
  • Fish – healthy fats help the skin look radiant by helping circulation and reducing inflammation.
  • Berries – phytonutrients increase circulation to the skin creating a glow.
  • Avocados – good fats nourish all cells including skin cells making them perform better and plump them up.
  • Honey – anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial.
  • Bone broth – for collagen formation
  • Water – chronic dehydration starves cells including skin cells of water resulting in less plumpness.

Supplements:

  • Probiotics – for good microbiome health for your gut and your skin.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids – to protect the integrity of all cell membranes including the skin creating a soft and smooth appearance.
  • Zinc – heals damaged skin so it can recover from injury and that includes wrinkles.
  • Collagen– is responsible for the support of the skin helping to keep wrinkles at bay as well as sagging.life extension skincare

All of these used together will create a beautiful environment for smooth, glowing skin!

New, topical products

Made with probiotics, nurture the good protective barrier of your skin microbiome. Try my favorite, Life Extension Antiaging serum scientifically formulated brand here:

If you enjoyed this article, please leave a comment!

a0e284_ffef60fd9f084d2ab53dd3aa576055fc-mv2_d_1201_1800_s_2Linda is a Functional Medicine Health Coach

 

10 H Pylori Infection Symptoms You Don’t Want To Ignore

10 H Pylori Infection Symptoms You Don’t Want To Ignore

H. Pylori (Helicobacter Pylori) is a bacteria estimated to be found in the human gut of about 30 to 50 percent of the world population. When H. Pylori is allowed to flourish and overgrow in the stomach, it causes stomach problems like gastritis, ulcers and other digestive ailments. Did you know that H. Pylori is contagious and can be passed on to family members?  Below, I have listed 10 H Pylori infection symptoms that you don’t want to ignore and after reading this article you’ll understand how to go about getting the appropriate treatment and healing.

10 H. Pylori Infection Symptoms

  1. An ache or burning pain in your abdomen (usually severe)
  2. Abdominal pain that’s worse when your stomach is empty.
  3. Nausea and vomiting.
  4. Loss of appetite.
  5. Frequent burping and bloating
  6. Fatigue – possibly from anemia
  7. Unintentional weight loss.
  8. Bad breath
  9. Diarrhea
  10. Passing Dark or Tarry Stools

If you have extreme fatigue and suffer from dark or tarry stools, you need to get checked by a doctor to rule out bleeding.

How Is H. Pylori Acquired?

H. Pylori is contagious and passed along from individual to individual via fecal contamination due to unsafe hygiene practices.  The majority of individuals with H. Pylori have few to any symptoms.  Those individuals who do have symptoms are reacting to the bacteria and the cytotoxins that are produced from the bacteria.  This causes inflammation of the stomach lining and compromises the lining leading to pain and possible ulcer formation.

Not all strains are bad. It’s believed that over half of the population is infected with H. Pylori. Certain strains have been shown to be protective of parasites.

Once a person is infected with the bacteria, the bacteria have to burrow deep into the stomach to turn off the Proton Pumps in the stomach which make the stomach acid you need to digest your food. Otherwise, the bacteria would be destroyed by the highly acidic stomach acid and could not survive. The bacteria secrete an enzyme to neutralize the ph of the stomach.

h pylori in stomach

Now the digestion process has a problem. The stomach does not have enough stomach acid to thoroughly digest food. The stomach is responsible for sterilizing the contents of food. So now food sits in the stomach and putrifies.  If the stomach cannot reach its proper PH, minerals cannot be absorbed. Minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, and selenium. Minerals have very important functions in the body and if you are not absorbing them you’ll  get problems like anemia, osteoporosis, nervous system dysfunction and loss of neurotransmitter production.  Mood disorders like depression and anxiety appear. Inflammation in the body becomes high resulting in arthritis, possible autoimmune issues, and cancer.

Stomach issues like SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) can take over because the ph of the stomach has been altered due to the H. pylori bacteria. Other stomach issues like heartburn and intestinal permeability (Leaky Gut) can take hold as well when the lining of the stomach is compromised.

Diagnosis:

These tests may be run to diagnose an H Pylori infection:

:Pylori-Strip

    • Stool test. This test looks for foreign proteins that are present with H Pylori.
    • Scope test. This is an upper endoscopy exam. A doctor can remove tissue if anything looks suspicious.
    • Blood test. Not generally a test used solely to detect H pylori infection.
    • Breath Test. You swallow a pill, liquid or a pudding that contains carbon. If you have an infection the carbon is released which is an indicator of H pylori infection.

So now you know you have it, how can you get rid of it?

How To Heal

H. pylori bacteria can settle in and not be detected for a lifetime. These sneaky bacteria hide from your immune system by secreting a lipopolysaccharide.  This type of antigen hides the H. pylori and diverts the immune system to attack the parietal cells that secrete stomach acid or the proton pumps in the stomach.

Follow up tests that show negative for H. pylori is very important. It’s not advised to just treat the infection with medicine and then and assume you don’t have the infection after treatment is over.

Conventional medicine

A targeted triple therapy treatment for H. pylori infection is usually administered by your doctor. First, a positive test for H. Pylori is determined.

The triple therapy can include:

Omeprazole, amoxicillin, Clarithromycin usually for 10 days

Bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole, tetracycline for 14 days

Lansoprazole (proton pump inhibitor), amoxicillin, clarithromycin for 10 days

This type of antibiotic therapy can have some adverse effects like nausea, skin rash, diarrhea, vomiting.  Contact your doctor if you are having these symptoms.

If you’ve tried antibiotics and they are not working or you are catching the bacteria over and over:

Many people have to treat their infection with non-antibiotic therapy and they have very positive results. Always work with a qualified practitioner to help you overcome H. pylori infection.

The mucous lining of the stomach needs to be restored and those ingredients that coat and soothe the lining of the stomach is important.

  • Mastic Gum has antimicrobial properties and has been shown in studies to kill H pylori infection and is an important ingredient in a supplement.
  • Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL) coats and soothes the intestinal lining and can also promote healing of the lining.  Taking DGL in a supplement and also taking it in between meals may be needed.
  • Uva Ursi is another supplement that helps to kill off H. Pylori
  • Aloe Vera soothes and heals the intestinal lining
  • Slippery elm a mucilaginous herb that supports the lining of the stomach.
  • Marshmallow root provide soothing, mucilaginous support

These ingredients should be a part of a natural healing protocol and I’ve attached a couple of my favorite products that are very effective.

One of my favorite programs is the SCD Lifestyle program. It’s extremely effective and for gut issues of all kinds, I highly recommend going through this program.

solving-leaky-gut-product-grey1

 

Stay Away From

If you are trying to heal an H. pylori infection, you should stay away from these foods until your follow up test comes back negative.

Stay away from acidic foods like:

Vinegar

Tomato sauce

Citrus juices

No:

Coffee

Tea

Selzer

No:

NSAIDS

DO:

Focus on stress management and relief. Reducing stress helps heal the stomach lining.

a0e284_ffef60fd9f084d2ab53dd3aa576055fc-mv2_d_1201_1800_s_2Linda is a Functional Medicine Health Coach

 

Gas and Bloating Relief with Activated Charcoal

Gas and Bloating Relief with Activated Charcoal

Gas and bloating are common symptoms of IBS. IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is a collection of digestive symptoms that do not point to a specific disease but are put under the umbrella of IBS. IBS is not to be confused with IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease) which is an inflammatory condition including Crohn’s disease and colitis and needs professional care. Gas and bloating that is not the result of IBD can be treated naturally once the root cause is determined.  For simple gas and bloating I like activated charcoal as a remedy. Gas and bloating relief with activated charcoal can ease your symptoms so you can start working on the root cause and long-term success.

IBS can be resolved completely, so that is encouraging for many! IBS is mainly due to SIBO a condition where there is bacterial overgrowth in the intestines. Many people naturally turn to probiotics when dealing with gas, bloating and other digestive system ailments. But if your IBS issues including gas and bloating are due to SIBO, which most are, then adding more bacteria regardless if it’s beneficial bacteria can add to the problem at least in the short term.

To get fast relief for gas and bloating the goal is to:

1) Release trapped gas

2) Relax the muscle wall of the intestines to ease cramps and bloating.

3) Balance microbes

4) Fix the diet

5) Practice good eating hygiene

Steps 1 -5 are the order in which to start healing, so the first step is to release trapped gas.

corn

Gas forms in your digestive tract when air is swallowed and when bacteria in the large intestines break down undigested foods. The types of food that are eaten and how long they hang out in the large intestine can determine the amount of gas produced.  You can lessen the amount of gas you experience by eating properly eg. eating hygiene; not swallowing large chunks of food, eating on the run, and eating while stressed. Be aware of the types of food eaten that will not hang out in the intestines for long producing excess gas is important.

Trapped gas can be very painful and for some keep them up at night.  Trapped gas can be a quality of life issue as well due to the pain and the bloating.  Clothes not fitting properly is another problem for those suffering from trapped gas.

Activated-Charcoal-Cap

One of my favorite remedies for absorbing excess gas and providing relief is activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is a medicinal remedy not to be confused with regular charcoal which is a carcinogen. Activated charcoal is the byproduct of slowly burnt coconut shells or burnt wood and then treated with oxygen which makes it an adsorbable (binding to) product. So, activated charcoal binds to toxins and odors up to one thousand times its weight.

Activated charcoal has been used in Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine for centuries and is now very popular in the U.S and around the world as a superfood. It has alkalizing properties which make it a darling for the health conscious. However many claims are not substantiated, so do your homework if you’re going to use it for other purposes.

From Dr.Jockers
From Dr.Jockers

With that said, activated charcoal and its ability to bind to digestive toxins are well documented. Using activated charcoal to ‘bind’ to trapped gas is a wonderful, fast acting remedy for breaking up painful, trapped gas.

Make sure activated charcoal is taken away from medication or other supplements as it’s binding properties act on them as well. You want the activated charcoal to bind to gas, not your vitamins or medications. Taking it between meals is a good idea.

Activated charcoal comes in pill or powder varieties. My favorite activated charcoal products also include other gas absorbing and anti-cramping agents. Gaia Herbs Gas and Bloating and Heather’s Tummy tamers are excellent choices.

In conclusion, gas and bloating due to IBS can be remedied by taking products with activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is a nutrient that has been used for centuries in Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine. Activated charcoal acts due to its ability to adsorb or bind to other substances like gas. Take activated charcoal between meals to ensure it does not bind to other nutrients or medicines.

If you try activated charcoal for gas and bloating, I’d love to hear from you! Please comment below!

a0e284_ffef60fd9f084d2ab53dd3aa576055fc-mv2_d_1201_1800_s_2

 

Linda is a Functional Medicine Health Coach

Holiday Stomach Pain and Bloating

Holiday Stomach Pain and Bloating – Is it Serious?

The holidays are a wonderful time where we spend more time with friends and family. It’s also a time where we eat lots of different foods we don’t normally eat.  Whether you love the holidays or dread the holidays one thing is for sure, that when we break our routine of eating, sleeping and drinking there is a greater chance of not feeling well. Is your holiday stomach pain and bloating serious and how can you tell?

Last Thanksgiving over thirty-six thousand people went to the emergency room that day.  Emergency room visits spike up to 12% over the holiday season in New York City.  In Kansas City one doctor estimates that his patient load climbs to 15% on Christmas Day.emergency visit

Estimates from the Centers for Disease Control show that people are not getting more injured during the holiday season, rather there are more cases of people eating the wrong thing, mistaking gastrointestinal issues with heart issues, food poisoning or problems related to too much alcohol.  People also do not take their daily medications with the rush of the holidays. The holidays can also bring on or exacerbate depression and other mood disorders needing attention and treatment.

To Be Clear:

Many hospital visits around the holiday time are for very real emergencies due to the excessive drinking and ultra-rich food that can precipitate a heart attack. Because of changes in routines, people delay in seeking treatment which compounds health outcomes. Heart-related deaths increase by 5 percent over the holidays. Fatal heart attacks peak on Christmas and the day after as well as New Year’s Day according to the journal Circulation.

Health emergencies over the holidays are a very real phenomenon not to be taken lightly and any change in your health or pain that is unusual should be checked out immediately.

With that said, this article will go over some common gastrointestinal issues that are very prevalent during the holiday season and what you can look out for, avoid, and some simple remedies.

Your Gastrointestinal Tract

A basic rundown of your gastrointestinal tract. The food you eat travels to your stomach from the esophagus. Digestion_largeThe esophageal sphincter at the base of the esophagus and the start of your stomach protects your esophagus from the acid in your stomach. The stomach breaks down food into chyme. The digestion of proteins takes place in the stomach along with a bit of carbohydrate. Most digestion takes place in the small intestines though. The chyme travels through the pyloric valve and into the small intestine where enzymes break down the food so it is absorbed into the bloodstream.  Whatever is not digested and absorbed into the body is now passed to the large intestine or colon where a stool is formed for excretion through the rectum and out the anus.

The small intestine has three parts to it.  The upper intestine is the duodenum, the middle part is the jejunum and the end is the ileum.

Now that you have an idea of the intestinal tract, you can determine where your pain is and understand better what may be happening.

Pain or Burning In The Throat Or In The Chest Area

esophagus

The most common pain in this area is usually associated with heartburn or acid reflux. This pain can extend from the throat to the mid-chest.  Heartburn is commonly treated with antacids or acid blockers. Most people believe that heartburn is due to the production of too much acid in the stomach. That is usually not the case in most instances. Too little acid is usually the culprit. During a meal, take one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in 4 ounces of water. This will assist your stomach in breaking down food so it doesn’t back up into your esophagus.  

Magnesium deficiency can also be a culprit. Magnesium keeps the sphincter muscle tight and able to do its job of keeping acid out of the esophagus. Magnesium deficiencies make the sphincter relaxed and not able to keep acid out. Make sure you are supplementing with a quality magnesium supplement every day.

Pain or Discomfort In The Upper GI Area (Stomach)

stomach

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes there are complaints of pain behind the ribs, on the right side of the ribs or in the upper middle area right below the chest.  If the pain is right after something is eaten, suspect possible beginnings of an ulcer or gastritis. Mending the stomach by bolstering the mucous lining of the tissues is important. Try a mucilaginous product that can support the thin mucous lining of the stomach such as Metagenics Ulcinex for a month. See your doctor if symptoms don’t improve.

If the pain starts twenty minutes after you eat or so, suspect gas. Gas can be due to low stomach acid so try sipping one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with four ounces of water with your meal to see if it helps. It may also be due to SIBO or bacterial overgrowth in the stomach. Try probiotics to heal the stomach and check with your doctor to determine if you have SIBO.

If you notice the pain appears with a fatty meal, suspect possible gallbladder issues. If the pain is acute, seek medical attention quickly.

Pain or Discomfort in the mid stomach range

Abdomen-periumbilical_region

This means pain anywhere on the belly button or within a span of up to two inches around the belly button. Pain in this area is where the small intestines are and the upper part of the large intestine.

This pain can be due to gas becoming trapped in the intestines due to poor eating hygiene from gulping a meal too fast.  Try peppermint capsules for gas and bloating issues.

When mid stomach pain is accompanied by diarrhea and vomiting think a possible stomach bug or food poisoning. Instead of reaching for the Immodium or Pepto Bismol, try a more natural remedy such as Dr. Schulze Formula #2.

Food intolerances and sensitivities can also be the culprit for mid stomach range pain.  You can test for food sensitivities. Some of the most common sensitivities are to gluten, dairy, corn, soy, and eggs. You can even try your own elimination diet for a couple of weeks to see if those foods are your problem.

Constipation can be the source of this kind of pain too. One of the lesser-known sources of constipation is magnesium deficiency. Try adding magnesium to clear up the problem.

Bowel obstruction is a more serious and less common issue of mid stomach pain and needs to be seen by a doctor to rule that out.

Pain In The Lower Region Of The Gastrointestinal Tract (Below Belly Button)

lower abdominal pain

Lower abdominal pain is quite common. Women have a propensity for this kind of stomach pain due to the uterus, ovaries, and tubes in the region.

Women may have a urinary tract infection that can give pain in the area. Treat urinary tract infections naturally with D-mannose. Other female issues can include fibroids, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease and menstrual pain.

Pain that originates on the lower right side and radiates to the back may be appendicitis and should be treated immediately in a hospital.

For men, the prostate and testicles are in that region so lower abdominal pain can stem from issues with those organs and should be checked by a doctor to rule out.

Crohns and IBD are serious inflammatory abdominal diseases that are accompanied by bloody diarrhea and constant pain. These conditions need to be ruled out by a doctor.

IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is a catch-all diagnosis of non-inflammatory stomach issues like diarrhea, constipation, bloating and gas. There are natural remedies to try for IBS such as supplementing with enzymes or probiotics and with peppermint capsules.  Eating differently during the holiday season can bring on IBS symptoms.  Making sure you stick to a normal eating pattern for most of the November and December months is critical to avoid IBS.  

Other possible causes of lower abdominal pain can due to:

 

  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Gastroenteritis (Food poisoning)
  • Hernia
  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
  • Kidney stone
  • Miscarriage
  • Diabetic Keto Acidosis
  • Testicular torsion
  • Prostatitis in men
  • Celiac disease
  • Eosinophilic colitis
  • Anxiety
  • Retention of urine in the bladder
  • Lactose Intolerance
  • Food Allergy
  • Bowel cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Diverticulitis

In conclusion, the reasons for stomach pain can be many.  During the holiday season, we may disregard stomach pain as being eating irregularly and too much.  Stomach pain can originate in the upper, mid and lower regions of the stomach and can be as simple as eating hygiene issues like eating food too quickly and not chewing properly to serious stomach issues. Knowing the source of the pain can help you determine what the problem might be. If the pain is accompanied by fever and vomiting, calling your doctor or a trip to the emergency room is in order. Otherwise, there are simple remedies that you can implement to help you get relief fast.

The Best Manuka Honey For Healing

The Best Manuka Honey For Healing – Know Your Honey

Honey is a supersaturated sugar solution derived from nectar gathered and modified by the honeybee and has been used since ancient times for healing. Manuka honey is a special type of honey that has been shown to have even more healing benefits over regular honey.  In this article I will explain the best manuka honey for healing since finding quality and true manuka honey can be a challenge.manuka-or-tea-tree-bush

Manuka honey comes from bees that pollinate the manuka bush. The manuka bush grows predominantly in New Zealand but also grows in Australia too. In fact there is a bit of competition between the two countries for the certification of authentic manuka honey. The world market price of manuka honey has reached incredibly high numbers making it one of the priciest exports coming out of New Zealand and Australia, so you can see why both countries are looking for certification superiority. If New Zealand wins the trademark, they will have a very lucrative product niche.

Manuka bushes also grow in other parts of the world, but the flower bees that pollinate them are not the right kind that produce true manuka honey. The New Zealand manuka bush is the same bush that tea tree oil comes from.

Authentic New Zealand manuka honey has the UMF on it’s side which is an advocacy group. The Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association (UMF) is a trademark and works with the growers and producers of the honey to inform the users of the benefits. These quality standards uphold the label by hiring independent companies to check samples of the honey.  The UMF is also looking to trademark the Manuka Honey name to protect the authenticity of the product.

How Is Manuka Honey Different From Other Types of Honey?

All honey has natural antibiotic properties due to their hydrogen peroxide content and has been used for centuries for wound healing and it’s ability to kill germs.  All honey is acidic with a pH between 3.2 and 4.5 which is responsible in promoting healing.

Manuka honey however, has even more unique qualities making it superior to regular honey.  One of these properties is a substance called methylglyoxal (MGO) which is found only in the nectar of the manuka plant. MGO is superior at attacking germs so well that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved bandages infused with Manuka honey for over the counter and prescription use in wound healing.

Flying honeybee collecting pollen at cherry blossoms.

MGO is not found in such high concentrations in any other food besides manuka honey. The higher the concentration of MGO, the stronger the antibacterial result.  High concentration of MGO in manuka honey gives it the power to destroy a large number of viruses and bacteria.  In fact, a recent study published in the European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases showed manuka honey killed almost every bacteria and pathogen it was tested on, something traditional antibiotics cannot claim.  These bacteria and pathogens include two strains of staph bacteria, MSSA (methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus) and MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) and Pseudomonas aeriginosa (PA).

Manuka honey also has an amazing nutritional profile that far exceeds traditional flower honey.  Manuka honey has amino acids, b vitamins, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, sodium and zinc up to 4 times the amounts of regular honey.

Health Benefits Of True Manuka Honey

Digestion and Immunology – especially SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth), low stomach acid and acid reflux or GERD.  Any bacterial issue with the stomach can benefit from manuka honey.  It can balance the bad bacteria in your gut which can heal and soothe digestion. Manuka honey can help prevent infections with it’s high antibacterial content helping with any bacterial illnesses and building immunity.

Stomach ulcers. Manuka honey is effective in killing the bacteria responsible for stomach ulcers, Helicobacter pylori, due to it’s antibacterial properties.

Chronic sinus infections. Manuka honey is effective at killing off Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas, bacteria responsible for causing sinus infections even better than antibiotics.

Wounds and skin ulcers. Manuka honey may be effective in killing MRSA, a bacteria that thrives on your skin and is commonly found in skin wounds. MRSA can grow and can be life threatening. ScienceDaily reports that 85 percent of bacteria in skin wounds was destroyed by small concentrations of manuka honey. Always check with your doctor for deep wounds or wounds that don’t heal or change in color and swelling.  

Periodontal disease. Dental plaque and tartar are caused by bacteria left on your teeth and can cause inflammation and gum disease. Manuka honey was shown in a study to prevent dental plaque and worked better than a clinical anti plaque mouthwash.

Skin Care. Excema, sensitive skin and psoriasis can all be helped with the topical application of manuka honey. Although there is not a lot of science yet behind it, manuka honey’s anti inflammatory properties are added to skincare to soothe and relieve chronic skin conditions.

Diabetic foot ulcers. Manuka honey is reported to be effective in the treatment of diabetic leg and foot ulcers according to a recent study.

manuka-honey-umf-5-10-15-20-300x172

How To Purchase Authentic Manuka Honey

At the beginning of this article I mentioned UMF, the Unique Manuka Honey Factor, the trademark group that oversees the authenticity of manuka honey. The UMF is also a grading system which appraises the natural markers found in the honey to assure purity and quality.  The UMF protects your rights as a consumer so you are getting what you pay for as the strength and potency of manuka honey as it varies per manuka bush. The UMF is a trademark of licensed users who must be New Zealand company manufacturers. Manuka honey must go through a series of tests to show authenticity and purity

This is the manuka honey grading UMF grading system:

The UMF quality trademark ranges from 5 upwards:

  •  0-4  Not detectable
  •  5-9  Low levels
  • 10-15 Useful levels
  • 16+   Superior high grade levels

The Active Manuka Honey Association of New Zealand is the organization responsible for the oversight of testing manuka honey.  Below MUST be labeled on the jar, or it is not guaranteed authentic manuka honey.

What will you see on the jar of authentic, trademarked manuka honey?

  • Authentic manuka honey will have the  UMF® trademark on the jar.
  • Along with the UMF will come a number.  This number specifies the UMF level of anti-bacterial activity.  5+, 10+, 12+, 16+, 18+, 20+
  • It has the UMF licensee’s brand name and license number on the label.
  • It is packed into jars and labelled in New Zealand.
  • It has a numerical number alongside the UMF trademark. (a number on it’s own without the trademark UMF does not identify genuine manuka honey).
  • It is endorsed by the Official UMF Test Certificate which states the batch number test results on the label.

In conclusion, manuka honey is a special honey with superior antibacterial and nutrient qualities above regular honey.  The UMF is a trademark for authentic New Zealand manuka honey, protecting the rights of the consumer in getting a quality and authentic product. Manuka honey has many researched and documented health benefits relating to antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Finding authentic manuka honey involves making sure the label has all the required information on it, guaranteeing authenticity.
My favorite brands of authentic manuka honey can be found below.  And please comment if you enjoyed this article, I love to hear from my readers.

Medi Bee  medi bee manuka honey

Steens steens-beekeeper-15-raw-manuka-honey-340g-ste5-7yx6w_L

Tahi tahi manuka honey

Heal Your Gut With Essential OIls

Heal Your Gut With Essential Oils – Powerful Relief For 4 Conditions!

You know when your gut is off. The bloating, gas, pain, constipation or diarrhea are the symptoms that you cannot ignore.  But sometimes, gut problems may not be so obvious.  The balance of your gut bacteria or damage to the lining isn’t obvious to you if you don’t have direct gut health symptoms.  But problems with your gut can manifest as immune issues, mood problems, brain fog etc. If you have issues that are chronic and you cannot pinpoint why you have them, it’s time to focus on healing the gut. One of your options to strengthen and heal your gut are essential oils.  You can heal your gut with essential oils, my favorite natural therapy!

*TIP*

Avoid overuse of essential oils.  They may seem harmless, but they have properties that are effective and too much of it can be counterproductive. Always use essential oils with the care and respect you deserve, and if you have questions about your particular condition, always check and use under the guidance of your own qualified practitioner.

Not every gut issue will respond to essential oils, but there are a few conditions that align well with treatment!  

4 Essential Oils Generally Regarded As Effective For Gut Health

These essential oils can be used for general digestive discomfort and are considered safe.

    1. Cumin  has been shown to be a great reliever of IBS.  It’s not as commonly known as other essential oils, but a good one to keep on hand if you suffer from digestive issues.
    2. Lavender  Is a very popular oil and one of the most gentle yet extremely healing oil.  Lavender is a general anti-inflammatory and can calm the stomach and gut lining.
    3. Peppermint Many know about peppermint as being a gut relieving oil. It has a long history of being a digestive aid and it’s well researched for IBS symptoms.
    4. Thyme Has been shown to relieve SIBO with its protective effects on good bacteria in the stomach.

All of the above oils are general enough to help with most of your digestive issues and if you keep them on hand, you have a great ‘medicine cabinet’ for your gut.

Read more here.

Specific Conditions That Essential Oils Can Help With.

SIBO – SIBO means ‘small intestine bacterial overgrowth’.  This is a condition where bacteria from the colon move to the small intestine.  When dealing with SIBO, making sure that the good bacteria is not disturbed while trying to eliminate the bad bacteria.  This can be tricky, but a 2009 study found that essential oils were effective in keeping good bacteria unharmed while dealing with the bad bacteria. The essential oils that were found to help are caraway, lavender and bitter orange.  

Acid Reflux or GERD – acid reflux is a major problem in the U.S. affecting millions of people.  It can be due to either too much stomach acid or too little.  For many it’s hard to understand that acid reflux could be the result of too little stomach acid, but it’s usually the likely reason.  The American diet is deficient in fresh whole foods, too much OTC medicine and prescription medicine.  We have a love affair with antiacids, so there is not enough stomach acid to digest the food.  Normally, digested food is pushed through from the stomach to the small intestine.  When food is not being digested properly due to lack of sufficient stomach acid, the stomach cannot push forward the contents, so it backs the contents up to the esophagus. Use protective essential oils like ginger and turmeric help to strengthen and heal the stomach lining when taken alongside a meal. Protecting the lining of the stomach when dealing with acid reflux and GERD is important to help prevent damage.

IBS – Irritable bowel syndrome affects millions of people a year, and about 70 percent will never go to their doctor for treatment.  If you do go to the doctor, treatment is usually lifestyle and diet changes.  Medication is sometimes used as well. One of the most studied essential oils for IBS is peppermint oil. A 2008 study found that peppermint oil was just as effective as antispasmodic medication.  

Nausea – Nausea can be a minor annoyance for some, but for many it can be a debilitating condition for those suffering with gut health issues. If you think back to when you were nauseous, I bet you remember that scent was something that affected your nausea usually for the worse.  Essential oils and their scent can be useful for helping. Inhaling essential oils like lemon, peppermint and ginger can be effective as a direct link between scent and nausea.  

You need to purchase essential oils that are organic and high quality.  Never ingest essential oils that are not of the highest quality and labeled safe for ingestion.  

DO NOT:

  • Purchase essential oils just based on the label ‘therapeutic grade’.  That is a marketing term that has no meaning.
  • Purchase essential oils from brands that you are not familiar with.  Most are NOT 100 percent pure, meaning fertilizers, pesticides, plants from GMO’s may be used to manufacture the oils. Ingesting or putting these on your skin will give you all the contaminants processed along with the oils.

DO:

  • Purchase oils that are 100 percent pure in the ingredients.
  • Are listed as USDA Certified Organic.
  • GMO Free.  USDA Certification ensures this.

My favorite brands that ensure purity are listed here.  Plant Therapy is a trusted brand. Rahda is another of my favorites, to purchase click here. Rahda Essential oils

You’ll need a high quality diffuser too!

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VicTsing Essential Oil Diffuser

I love to hear from my readers, please comment!

Dulse Flakes Health Benefits -4 Reasons To Try Them Today!

Dulse Flakes Health Benefits -3 Reasons To Try Them Today!

 

People hear the word seaweed and they get all bent out of shape. ‘Yuck’ is the term I often hear. I like to call them sea vegetables!  Sea vegetables are delicious and they have so many health benefits for you. Sea vegetables have been a staple in Japanese culture spanning hundreds of years and the Japanese are one of the most long-lived peoples in the world.  The ancient Chinese served them only to royalty, and considered a delicacy.  Dulse is a sea vegetable. Dulse flakes health benefits are many.  I hope this article will convince you to give them a try and especially if you suffer from any sort of gut health issues.

Dulse is red in color and has a salty flavor making it a great supplement to add to your cooking.  You can replace salt with it.

Ten Overall Health Benefits of Dulce Flakes

  1. High in vitamins and minerals like B6, B12, A, Iron, Potassium, Phosporus, Calcium and Manganese.
  2. Helps heal digestive conditions.
  3. Cleanses the body of heavy metals.
  4. Great for healthy thyroid function because it’s high in iodine.
  5. Lowers Cholesterol.
  6. Helps relieve menstrual symptoms.
  7. Controls the growth of bad bacteria, candida and viruses.
  8. Lowers blood pressure.
  9. Detoxify your body from heavy metals, environmental pollutants, and carcinogens.
  10. Has anti-inflammatory properties.

Sea vegetables are gaining in popularity in the United States but many are afraid of trying them.  This is partly due to fear of them and unfamiliarity.  Another reason is just not knowing how to incorporate them in your diet.

3 Great Benefits Of Dulse Flakes To Heal Your Gut

If you’re a reader of my blog, you know that we have trillions of bacteria in our gut and all over our body. Balance is the key when it comes to gut health.  A healthy gut has a 80/20 ratio of good to bad bacteria.  If this balance is off, you will suffer from many health issues ranging from allergies, digestive problems to other more severe diseases like autoimmune issues.  If you can believe it, we have 3 to 4.5 pounds of bacteria in the gut!  Within those numbers, there are 400 to 500 different species of bacteria. What causes gut bacteria to be imbalanced? Medications like antibiotics, OTC pain relievers, environmental pollution, chemicals and processed foods.  Our diet is a significant reason. So what can Dulse do for you?

  1. Replenish Iodine deficiency. Research has shown the many Americans are Iodine deficient. Being deficient in Iodine is a problem.  Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control suggest that some 2.2 million women nationwide could have low iodine.  Iodine plays a role in protecting against bad bacteria in the gut and helps fight infections in the gut that cause inflammation and digestive problems like SIBO and Leaky Gut.
  2. Improves the ratio of good to bad bacteria.  When your microbiome is balanced it works to combat obesity, IBD, IBS, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disease and certain forms of cancer.
  3. Bind to heavy metals and eliminate them from the body.  Heavy metals block the absorption of nutrients in the stomach, creating free radicals and inflammation. Dulse binds to metals such as aluminum ,mercury, copper, and lead, carrying them all the way through the colon to be eliminated rather than being released back into the body.

Including Dulse in your diet is a very important and necessary nutrient if you’re looking to heal your digestive issues.  I can’t think of anything more powerful other than probiotics to make a difference in your health.

Making sure your Dulse comes from a reputable source is important, I recommend these brands.  I will be writing a review within the next week, so stay tuned for that! Changing Habits Dulse Flakes

AND:

I love to hear from my readers, please comment and I’ll get back to you!

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Health Benefits of Infrared Sauna – Healing For Your Gut Too!

Saunas were invented in Finland and have been a way of life for over 2000 years. Suana means’Bath’ or ‘Bath House’. Heating and sweating the body was a way to keep clean in Nomadic times. Today, heating and sweating the body comes with a list of benefits to your health. Heat has a profound effect on your heart, brain and skin, and helps release heavy metal toxins from your body. Some studies have shown sweating to increase the excretion of hesauna-1avy metals such as cadmium, arsenic, lead, and mercury.  There are two types of saunas, wet heat and dry heat saunas. Wet heat uses water and heat to fill the room with humidity and steam.  Dry heat saunas do not produce humidity but heat the room and infrared heaters penetrate your body and can heat you at lower temperatures. There are amazing health benefits of infrared sauna and if you can afford one of your own or have access to one, using it 3 times a week will give you excellent results.

Why Infrared Saunas?

The sun’s infrared rays and heat protect our body and it helps with the elimination of disease.  Infrared rays are the safest rays of the sun and provide healing energy.  Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because our bodies convert the sun’s rays into a usable form of vitamin D. Food is a poor source of vitamin D, so getting sunshine is critical.  Far Infrared Saunas can provide many of the benefits of the sun, such as vitamin D, increased blood flow and therefore oxygen, which can really help the healing process. Far Infrared heat can penetrate up to 3 inches into the body.  When warming the body at the cellular level with infrared saunas, muscles and joints can heal. Arteries and veins will also warm due to the muscle warming and an increase in circulation will benefit the whole body.

  • Studies have shown that regular sauna use reduces the risk of death from any cause, including heart disease.
  • Toxins are flushed from the body in a greater amount with an infrared sauna.  Because the heat penetrates at the cellular level,  the sweating is deeper and more profuse allowing your body to excrete more of a toxic load than with a conventional sauna.
  • Can provide muscle pain relief as well as arthritis and joint pain.
  • Can lower blood pressure through better circulation due to the warming and relaxation of muscles, veins and arteries.
  • Cut a cold or flu off at the pass.  Better circulation means higher white blood cell production that helps with strengthening your immune system to fend off invaders.
  • There is some evidence to suggest that infrared sauna, because of their ability to penetrate the skin more deeply, increase metabolic rate and can help the body burn off anywhere from 200 – 600 calories in a half hour session.
  • Infrared saunas are also much more comfortable than dry heat saunas. You’ll sweat more, but at lower temperatures which makes the experience more comfortable for you. Having a more comfortable experience is extremely important to those going through a healing event and can stay in the sauna for a therapeutic period of time without having to shorten the time in the sauna.
  • Infrared saunas can accelerate cell death of organisms such as mold, yeast, fungus, viruses, bacteria and cancer. infrared5

How Infrared Saunas Help With Gut Health

  • For leaky gut, increased circulation throughout the body via infrared heat results in improving the blood supply to the gut and the intestinal lining as well.  Improved blood flow delivers essential nutrients to promote healing and repairing the intestinal lining. Improved blood supply delivers essential nutrients and promotes repair and healing of the intestinal lining.
  • Chronic infections or bouts of SIBO contribute to gut permeability which results in a higher core body temperature.  Infrared sauna use helps restore the body temperature to the normal operating range. With this return to a more normal operating temperature, there is a resulting improvement in immune function and the endless bouts of infection can start to ease off.

Precautions

Some newer electronic saunas emit high levels of electromagnetic radiation, make sure the model you purchase has low levels like Golden Designs.

Drink plenty of water in a sauna especially after a hard workout.  Dehydration can sauna1be a real issue.

I highly recommend you purchase your own sauna, but if that’s not possible, make sure the gym or facility you are using has very strict cleaning protocols.

I love to hear from my readers, please comment below and I’ll get back to you!

 

 

 

How To Get Rid Of Sibo – Heal Your Gut Naturally With Herbs!

.sibo

SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) is something that is fairly prevalent.  It can occur in those who already suffer from IBS or any other underlying condition.  SIBO occurs when there is an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the small intestine.  The small intestine should only have a very small amount of bacteria present.  The small intestine, when functioning correctly, is where nutrient absorption takes place.  When there is an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, the bacteria consume the nutrients and interfere with absorption leading to gas, bloating and pain.

Symptoms Of  SIBO

 

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Malnutrition
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Acne
  • Asthma
  • Depression
  • Rashes
  • Joint pain

Risk Factors For SIBO

Over half of people with celiac disease have SIBO.

About 43 percent of people with chronic diabetes have SIBO.

Aging is a factor for SIBO.  Over 20 percent of seniors over the age of 61 have it.

Rosacea patients are at risk of SIBO.

Untreated SIBO

Left untreated, SIBO will lead to malnutrition.  Vitamin B12, an important vitamin and one that is hard to absorb as we get older, is even more difficult to absorb with SIBO.  A vitamin B12 deficiency is linked to many problems such as tingling in hands and feet, anemia, jaundice,cognitive issues, memory lapses, fatigue, weakness, and mental health issues including paranoia and hallucinations.  Poor absorption of fat, anemia, osteoporosis, kidney stones and damage to the intestinal walls are other concerns.

How To Heal

Treating with antibiotics is the usual course, but eliminating good bacteria is always the problem when treating with antibiotics.  Recurrence is often the case because again there is an imbalance in gut bacteria.   The first thing to do is to take a quality probiotic immediately.   Eat foods rich in probiotics.

Herbal antibiotics have been shown in studies to be very effective.  Oregano oil, lemon balm oil and Indian barberry root extract are effective.

 

To learn more about herbal antibiotics read Herbal Antibiotics

 

I love to hear from you!  Please leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you right away!