Stomach Pain Relief

Quick Stomach Pain Relief

When your stomach hurts thinking about anything else but relief is not possible.  That’s why it’s important to get relief quickly and then address the root cause so you can minimize or eliminate stomach pain for good.  I’ve outlined some stomach pain relief methods you can incorporate today to feel better.

Identifying Your Stomach Painabdominal-pain-s6-photo-of-locations-of-pain (1)

The most important step in relieving stomach pain is knowing what type of pain you have, where in the stomach you are experiencing it and when you are experiencing it. Organs of the abdomen include the stomach, small intestine, colon, liver, gallbladder, spleen, and pancreas.

Stomach pain can stem from a number of digestive issues and many symptoms overlap.  Digestion begins in the mouth and ends at the rectum, so that leaves a pretty wide area where your pain can stem from. I will break down some common symptoms and give you some general relief methods.

As always, contact your doctor for an appropriate treatment plan if your symptoms are lasting more than a few days. Some questions to ask yourself to pin down possible reasons:

  • Is the pain in the right, left, or center of the abdomen?
  • Is the pain in the top, bottom, or middle of the abdomen?
  • Is the pain sudden, and severe (acute)?
  • Is the pain less severe, yet occurs more frequently (chronic)?
  • Does the pain remain in one place, or does it move around?
  • Does the pain occur mainly after eating?
  • Are you pregnant?

**Symptoms From Top To Bottom**

Burning sensation in your throat

burning-throat

Could be Laryngopharyngeal reflux or ‘silent GERD’ and is similar to GERD or acid reflux, but the symptoms are different. With silent GERD, stomach acid backs up into the back of the throat and/or voice box and sometimes into the nasal airway.  This causes inflammation to the delicate tissues of the throat, voice box, and nasal passages.

Quick Relief:
  • Chew gum to increase saliva and neutralize stomach acid.
  • Slippery elm drops used 2-3x/day will help to heal the sensitive mucosal lining of the esophagus.
  • Strongly brewed ginger tea can also help.  A tablespoon of freshly grated ginger in hot water can do the trick.

Heartburn, Pain in the chest

heartburn

If you feel a burning pain in the middle of your chest you may be experiencing acid reflux.  Acid backs up into the esophagus and irritates the tissues causing the sensation of heartburn. It’s not unusual to have acid reflux on occasion, but when it happens twice a week or affects your daily life then you may have the more chronic version of reflux called GERD. Read more about reflux/GERD here.

Getting your acid reflux under control is paramount so it doesn’t progress to GERD. If you experience persistent heartburn, bad breath, tooth erosion, nausea, pain in your chest or upper part of your abdomen, or have trouble swallowing or breathing, see your doctor.

Quick Relief:

Try D-Limonene, 1000 mg’s per day. D-Limonone has been studied and found to help heartburn. D-Limonene is a component of several citrus essential oils (orange; lemon and lime); and naturally occurs in citrus juices.

2 tsp of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar to ¼ cup of water and drink. Repeat 5 minutes later.  Take before meals to pre-empt the heartburn. Read more about apple cider vinegar for gut health here.

Upper Abdominal Pain

upper abdominal pain

Pain in the upper quadrant of your stomach can be gallstones. The pain is usually steady and lasts from 30 minutes to several hours.  Tiny, hard stones form when fluid in the gallbladder crystallizes and can lead to infection.  Gallbladder attacks usually occur after eating or at night.  Gallbladder disease requires immediate medical attention.

Quick Relief

D-Limonene has been shown in a clinical study to be effective in reducing (67%)  and even fully dissolving gallstones (50% of study participants).  Learn more about  d-limonene here.

Take turmeric (1,000 milligrams daily) — It’s active ingredient curcumin, has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce gallbladder swelling and improve bile flow.  

Follow up with your doctor for acute pain that is sudden.

Abdominal Pain – Rib Area

pain-right-side-behind-rib-cage

Gastritis is usually suspected when the pain comes on soon after eating and is in the rib area. This type of pain is steady. This is most often caused by an infection of H Pylori bacteria.  This causes thinning of the protective mucosal lining in the stomach.  Contact your doctor for a stool test and other digestive tests but in the meantime, healing the stomach lining is helpful.

Quick Relief

Try Metagenics “Zinlori”, used three times a day in between meals for 4 weeks until your test results come back. Gastritis can also involve H Pylori bacteria, so eliminating that infection is also recommended.  Try Designs for Health’s “GastroMend”, used at full strength for 6 weeks.

Abdominal Pain – Rib Area

pain-right-side-behind-rib-cage

Pain in this area could also be due to gas.  Especially when pain is felt 20 minutes or more after eating. This type of pain is intermittent and not steady.

Quick Relief

For gas/bloat-based discomfort, NOW Foods makes a product called “Peppermint Gels” which contains a combination of fennel and peppermint oil. This combination can help gas pain. Take as directed until feeling better.

Middle and Lower Abdominal Pain

middle lower abdominal pain

IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is suspected when pain comes from the middle or lower intestines. Constipation, diarrhea, bloating and gas cause intermittent pain in this area. Irritable bowel syndrome a non-inflammatory condition, while inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) causes chronic swelling (or inflammation).  The difference between the two can be determined by the presence of blood in the stool, eye discomfort, extreme fatigue, and joint pain which never occurs with IBS, but does occur with IBD.

Both conditions should be followed up with by a doctor.

Quick Relief For IBS

Peppermint, ginger, and fennel are herbs which release trapped gas and eliminate bloating and cramps by relaxing the muscle wall of the intestines.  Activated charcoal is also effective at absorbing excess gas in the gut. Take Activated charcoal on its own, not with any other supplements or food.   My favorite specific supplement recommendations include a mixture of these elements e.g. Gaia Herbs’ “Gas and Bloating” formula and Heather’s Tummy Tamers.

Probiotics are not recommended for an acute episode of IBS since they may make symptoms worse. A digestive enzyme formula is better and supportive of the healing process. An excellent, full spectrum digestive enzyme product is Renew Life’s “Digest More”.   Take them for a week and if improvement is seen, continue taking them until your symptoms subside.

When To See The Doctor

Confident female doctor at office desk

Pain that is unrelenting, spreads to the back and movement does not relieve it are signs that you need to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Does eating or lying one side relieve the pain? Does throwing up make the pain better? Does staying in one place or moving around make the pain better? Anything that provides relief should be mentioned to the doctor.

Pain that wakes you up in the middle of the night is more serious and should always be checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.

There are many, many other causes for stomach pain beyond the scope of this article.  Use your judgment when determining if stomach pain is an emergency as in the case of appendicitis. A rule of thumb is when stomach pain is due to an inflammatory condition, movement hurts. Usually, this type of pain makes you want to lie still without moving and is indicative of seeing a health professional immediately.

In Conclusion

When your stomach hurts, you want and need fast relief.  Thankfully, most stomach pain is occasional and infrequent.  Home remedies can help with the pain of heartburn, IBS, gastritis/ulcers, gallstones, constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating until you can see a doctor to help get to the root of the problem.

More serious stomach pain should always be handled immediately to rule out serious stomach issues and disease.

I hope you enjoyed this article on quick relief methods for common digestive issues.  Please leave a comment, I love to hear from my readers!

 

14354940_1147966088611029_3013149574780621067_n(4)Linda is a Certified Functional Health Coach

Foods That Reduce Acid Reflux

Top 10 Foods That Reduce Acid Reflux

Heartburn and acid reflux reduce the quality of life for millions of people. The majority of people self-treat their symptoms and spend over 1.2 billion dollars on over-the-counter antacid and indigestion products every year! These products are not without risk. One study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, suggests that seniors are at a greater risk for bone fractures while on these ‘proton-pump’ inhibitors such as Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid.  There is a lot you can do naturally to reduce or eliminate acid reflux and natural should always be the first step before taking drugs. I am outlining 10 foods that reduce acid reflux so you can get an understanding of how foods and supplements can heal and make a substantial difference in the quality of your life.

What is Gastric Reflux and GERD?

Many people confuse acid reflux with GERD and use the terms interchangeably, but although they are closely related they are different problems.

  • Acid reflux is when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus. During an episode of acid reflux, you taste regurgitated food or sour liquid at the back of the throat and possibly a burning sensation in your chest (heartburn).
  • GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) is the chronic, more severe form of acid reflux.  Frequent heartburn is one of the symptoms of GERD, so is difficulty swallowing, chest pain and wheezing. The symptoms get worse at night while lying down.

There is another form of reflux and that is called Laryngopharyngeal Reflux.  LPR is a condition where the backflow of food or stomach acid goes into the voice box or the throat. This can happen during the day or at night. Knowing you have LPR can be confusing because most people do not have heartburn and that is because the material does not back up all the way to the esophagus, just to the throat and voice box. It’s still a serious condition because the throat and voice box tissues are more sensitive to injury and irritation.  

Symptoms Of Acid Reflux and GERD

As I explained earlier, acid reflux and GERD are slightly different. GERD being the chronic condition. So GERD symptoms will have all of the symptoms of reflux, plus long-term symptoms.

  • Heartburn    (Reflux and GERD)
  • Chest pain    (Reflux and GERD)
  • Pain after eating   (Reflux and GERD)
  • Bitter taste in mouth    (Reflux and GERD)
  • Sore Throat   (Laryngopharyngeal Reflux, Reflux and GERD)
  • Hoarseness    (Laryngopharyngeal Reflux, Reflux and GERD)
  • Nausea    (GERD)
  • Trouble swallowing   (Laryngopharyngeal Reflux, GERD)
  • Sleep Disturbances   (Reflux and GERD)
  • Cough   (Laryngopharyngeal Reflux, GERD)
  • Sinusitis   (GERD)
  • Asthma    (GERD)
  • Middle ear infection   (GERD)
  • Lung disease   (GERD)
  • Barrett’s Esophagus (GERD)
  • Esophageal cancer  (GERD, long-term GERD with Barrett’s esophagus)

All of the above symptoms can be indicative of all digestive reflux disease as with other medical conditions, so it’s always prudent to check with your health professional.

The Gerdq is a diagnostic questionnaire given to patients when GERD is suspected. Answer these questions with how many days a week you experience symptoms.  Add up your points and then compare to the note at the bottom of the chart.

gerdq

The Importance Of Healing Reflux and GERD

Acid reflux can turn into chronic GERD.  As I mentioned before, millions of Americans self-treat their acid reflux symptoms.  This is not wise as the root cause is never addressed and over-the-counter acid blockers can destroy the digestive system and its delicate acid, enzyme, and bacterial balance.

Untreated or self-treated reflux that turns into chronic GERD can result in damage to the esophagus leading to Barrett’s esophagus. Barrett’s esophagus is a condition where damage and inflammation occur in the esophagus and is associated with an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer. This is a rare occurrence but should be taken seriously.foods that reduce acid reflux

Any damage to the esophagus and throat should be addressed immediately. To protect the delicate tissues of the esophagus, supplements that pose as a barrier to the area are important to take while healing your reflux and GERD. Life Extension carries products that protect and heal.

Doctors may prescribe pills that do not address the root cause.  When prescription medications are stopped, symptoms usually reappear after a time. Acid suppression therapies found in antacids, proton pump inhibitors, and histamine 2 receptor blockers can interfere with the absorption of nutrients like iron, vitamin B12 and calcium carries its own risks.

Problems like anemia increases with lack of iron absorption. Vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with elevated homocysteine levels which are a risk factor for heart disease.  Impaired calcium absorption carries a risk of deadly hip fracture. So as you can see, medications to manage GERD and reflux come with risks of future health challenges.

Foods That Reduce Acid Reflux and GERD

foods that reduce acid refluxStudies suggest that more than 27% of GERD patients test positive for food allergies and avoiding these allergenic foods resulting in symptom improvement (Pomiecinski 2010).  Food plays a huge part in the development, progression, and reduction of reflux and GERD.  Knowing what foods help and what foods contribute or exacerbate problems is very important to manage your condition.

We think that symptoms of heartburn are due to too much stomach acid, but that is not the case for many.  Too little stomach acid is also a contributor.  How can that be you ask? Stomach acid is needed to emulsify food once in the stomach. Once the food is emulsified, it moves forward to the small intestines.  Everything is propelled in a forward motion. If there is not enough stomach acid to propel the food forward, it backs up into the esophagus.

Foods to eat when TOO MUCH stomach acid is suspected in reflux and GERD

1.Vegetables – include more vegetables in your diet. Preferably with every meal you have. Vegetables help reduce stomach acid because they are naturally low in acid and buffer the acid level. Try green vegetables with every meal like green beans, broccoli, asparagus, and cucumbers.

2.Oatmeal – Oatmeal is low in acid and actually absorbs the acidity from other foods.

3.Rice and Couscous – choose brown rice over white rice for extra fiber. Rice and couscous are very soothing foods for the digestive tract and will not contribute to reflux

4.Potatoes – low in acid and easy to digest.

5.Egg Whites – are low in acid and a good source of protein to replace meat with, which is high in acid. Stay away from the yolks, as they are high in acid.

6.Melons and Bananas – Fruit can be acidic, but melons and bananas are low in acid and can be eaten without triggering reflux.

Foods To Eat When TOO LITTLE Stomach Acid Is Suspected in reflux and GERD

7. Drink Celery Juice – or eat celery with every meal. Celery juice replaces salts and enzymes and will calm reflux. Drink it every day preferably on an empty stomach.

8. Apple Cider Vinegar – Drink before meals to increase acidity to help digest your food and reduce reflux.

9. Gingerhelps stimulate digestive juices. Try 2- 3 cups a day of ginger tea, 2 -3 drops of ginger essential oil in 8 oz of water a day, or add ½ inch of ginger root to a smoothie a day.

10.Fermented Veggies – Foods like Kimchi, Sauer kraut, fermented pickles, fermented veggies improve digestive juices because they contain acids, enzymes, and natural probiotics.

Thrive 25perent off

In Conclusion

Acid reflux and GERD are used interchangeably when in fact there are some differences. GERD is the more chronic and long term condition of reflux.

It is important not to self-treat reflux as millions of Americans do today since chronic GERD can result.  Chronic GERD is associated with esophageal damage leading to Barrett’s syndrome which can result in esophageal cancer.

Drugs to manage reflux can cause nutrient deficiencies leading to other health conditions. It’s important to change your diet and add in those foods that are known to help calm reflux if you know your reflux is caused by either too much or too little stomach acid.

Read here for more information about supplements to heal GERD and reflux.

Please leave a comment if you enjoyed this article, I love to hear from you!

14354940_1147966088611029_3013149574780621067_n(4)
Linda Watson is a Certified Functional Health Coach

Rocky Mountain Essential Oils

Rocky Mountain Essential Oils

Buying essential oils can be a confusing process.  It seems everywhere you turn, there are essential oils for saleRose Jasmine Melissa RMO. I bet you have been approached by your friends and neighbors who sell essential oils through direct marketing. You can even purchase essential oils at the grocery store. If you shop on Amazon there are dozens of essential oil brands to choose from. To sift through the essential oil purchasing process I’ve written this post to review a brand called Rocky Mountain Essential Oils.  I hope this review helps you understand what goes into a quality brand of essential oil so you can make the best essential oil purchase for yourself and your family.

Since essential oils are growing in popularity, more and more brands are available for purchase just about anywhere.  It is a huge industry.  The concern with many natural health experts is that proper usage is not fully understood by the users and the people selling them via direct marketing. Just because something is labeled natural doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed safe.

Problems With The Essential Oils Industry

Some essential oil companies skip steps and distil their product at high temperatures and high pressure.  Low temperatures and low pressure turn out the best quality oils.  

Essential oils should be steam distilled, but some companies are using chemical solvents to distil their oils.  

Some manufacturers fake authentic certification for their products. Or use oils that have been distilled from poor crops. Or use crops that have been improperly handled or oils that have expired. This is poor-quality and a problem in the industry.

Many oils are adulterated, meaning fragrance, chemicals or cheap oils are added to the product.  Your ‘pure’ oil may contain a small percentage of pure oil and higher percentages of chemicals.

Problems With Usage Of Essential OilsRMO SideWide

“Whatever has the power to heal, has the power to harm.”

  1. One of the biggest mistakes users make is applying oils directly to the skin.  Essential oils are highly concentrated. It takes huge amounts of plant material from the plants, fruits, and barks that essential oils are made from in order to get one bottle of essential oil. Putting this much-concentrated oil on your skin is asking for irritation or getting too much of the active ingredients in your bloodstream.
  2. Using oils as a ‘preventative measure’. Some people ingest large quantities of oil daily. Some use 30 or more drops a day. The safety of ingesting essential oils is not well documented and should only be done under the supervision of a trained professional. If you don’t have a particular health issue, blindly drinking essential oils is not smart.
  3. The quality of the diffuser. The diffuser can burn your oils or not disperse properly or break down the oil so it’s actually effective when you breath it in. For more information about effective diffusers, read here.
  4. Not understanding the latin name of the oil you are using.  Essential oils come from plants and those plants have a latin name that should be printed on every bottle of essential oil you have. If you are using lavender, what type of lavender? It’s very important to understand the type of plant the essential oil is made from so you can help the condition you are trying to alleviate.

What To Look For When Purchasing An Essential Oil brand.

Rocky Mountain Essential Oils

  • The suppliers are a small sized business.
  • The supplier is available to provide material safety sheets of MSDS on demand.
  • The supplier is owned by an aromatherapy practitioner or essential oil specialist.
  • The supplier has a non-controversial reputation.
  • The supplier is well known by industry experts.

Other Important considerations to look for:

  • Does the essential oil company promote unsafe usage of essential oils?  For example, a certified Aromatherapist trained at the clinical level must have to adhere to safety rules to remain registered. However, many MLM distributors encourage ingesting oils. These practices are prohibited by the AIA (Alliance of International Aromatherapists).
  • Terms such as “therapeutic grade” or “clinical grade” are used by essential oils to claim their superiority over other brands.  These terms have no meaning as there is no standardization of essential oils. These terms are basically meaningless.
  • Not having an organic label. Oils should be organic otherwise any pollutants or chemicals will be concentrated in the oil. Organic may mean different things to different countries, so again, knowing the suppliers is a huge advantage.
  • No customer service. You want to purchase oils with companies that can answer any questions you have and be able to produce testing information upon request.

So, now you know what to look out for and what to look FOR in your essential oil company.  

I am sure there are other companies out there that fill the bill, but this post is about Rocky Mountain Essential Oils. This company delivers on all of the above.  

Rocky Mountain Essential OIls

Rocky Mountain Essential Oils

Rocky Mountain Essential Oils, formally known as Native American Traditions, was founded by Paul Dean.  Paul Dean was in the essential oils industry since 1997.

Why Rocky Mountain Essential Oils?

  1. Their oils are grown in remote areas where plants are indigenous to the area where there are no chemicals and only natural fertilizers are used.
  2. Certificates are available upon request with the safety and purity information (MSDS). You can get this information on any oil you have with the batch number provided on the bottom of the bottle.
  3. Absolutely no solvents are used for distillation.
  4. Their oils are organically certified and organically grown or wild-crafted.
  5. The Latin names are listed on their website as well as the country of origin.
  6. The company makes no claims about ingesting the oils or using them in an unsafe way as outlined by the Alliance Of International Aromatherapists. They recommend caution when using the oils.
  7. The oils are not heated or adulterated in any way.
  8. The prices of RMO’s oils are reasonable.

RMO long bannerSpecifications:

  • Rocky Mountain Oils boast a no-questions-asked 90-day product return policy.
  • Trusted suppliers that meet stringent product quality guidelines.
  • If a sample is rejected due to contaminant, adulterants etc, no order is placed. If the sample passes the GC/MS test a bulk order is placed for the same batch.
  • After the bulk order is received, additional 3rd party testing is done to ensure that the quality of the oil received is the same as the original sample tested.
  • Each essential oil is carefully bottled in protective amber glass bottles by trained professionals using state-of-the-art equipment. Bottles are securely sealed, labeled side and top, and prepared to ship to customers.
  • Rocky Mountain Essential oils now use sustainable packaging for a healthy environment.

In ConclusionRMO sustainable packaging

Essential oils are growing in popularity.  It seems everywhere you turn, someone is selling them via network marketing companies or even at the local grocery store.  Purchasing them can be a confusing experience for a lay person.

Since essential oils have the power to heal, using them in the wrong way can have undesirable effects. Unscrupulous companies may jump on the bandwagon and offer low quality oils, or oils that are not pure.  

There are many considerations to take into account when purchasing essential oils like whether or not they are pure, or batch tested and independently tested.

Rocky Mountain Oils meet all of the requirements of a top quality essential oil company.  Their products meet all the safety standards and independent testing.  Their products are harvested in areas where pollutants and contaminants are not used.

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I highly recommend Rocky Mountain essential oils. In the complicated, confusing world of essential oils, Rocky Mountain Essential oil brand is one to feel confident in.

♥♥♥To experience the wonderful benefits of Rocky Mountain Essential Oils try them here! ♥♥♥

Rocky Mountain Essential Oils

Please leave a comment below, I love to hear from you!

14354940_1147966088611029_3013149574780621067_n(4)Linda Watson is a Certified Functional Health Coach

cod liver oil side effects

Cod Liver Oil Side Effects

Cod liver oil is the essential oil extracted from the livers of Atlantic cod. Scientists discovered that cod liver oil helped eradicate rickets, a common disease in 17th century England and in the U.S. through the 1920’s.  Back then, cod liver oil was known to be rich in vitamins A and D only but its strong therapeutic properties are still being discovered today. Rickets was eradicated in the 1930’s and today cod liver oil is used successfully to treat many nutrient deficiencies.naturalvitamins

Nordic countries regularly consume cod liver oil to protect themselves from nutrient deficiencies. Studies have shown that taking one to two teaspoons of cod liver oil daily can help reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, kidney problems, inflammatory bowel disease, high cholesterol and joint pain. Seems like a supplement worth taking, but some have expressed concern over the consumption of cod liver oil.  Is it all it’s cracked up to be? Are there any cod liver oil side effects you should be aware of? Let’s look a little deeper into cod liver oil research and see what it reveals.

Difference between Cod Liver Oil and Fish Oilfish oil

Cod liver oil is oil that is extracted solely from the livers of cod fish. Fish oil is oil extracted from the tissue of deep sea oily fish like tuna, mackerel, herring, salmon, cod, and trout. Cod liver oil contains fewer Omega 3 fatty acids than regular fish oil but contains more nutrients like vitamin D and A.

What Are The Researched Benefits Of Cod Liver Oil?

cod liver oil

Cod liver oil is an anti-inflammatory food due to its omega 3 fatty acid profile and it’s high levels of vitamins A and D.  Both of these nutrients help fight inflammation and build the immune system which is critical in so many inflammatory conditions including inflammatory bowel diseases.

  • Cod liver oil is a good type of fat. Omega 3 fatty acids help break down carbohydrates when eaten with a meal to reduce the blood sugar rise in your bloodstream.
  • The nutrients in cod liver oil, mostly vitamin A and E help reduce the risk of macular degeneration.  Macular degeneration can lead to blindness and is on the rise in the U.S.
  • Cod liver oil contains high amounts of vitamin D and can help with cognitive performance.
  • The vitamin A and D in cod liver oil can help heal IBD and other digestive disorders.
  • The vitamin D in cod liver oil can help reduce the progression of cancer by slowing the growth and development of new blood vessels in cancerous tissue.
  • Cod liver oil was shown to protect against bone loss, obesity and resulted in a greater bone turnover. (Bone. 2008 May;42(5):996-1003).
  • Cod liver oil has anti-depressant properties and is associated with a lower rate of depressive symptoms for the general population. (J Affect Disord. 2007 Aug;101(1-3):245-9).

Any Side Effects From Cod Liver Oil?

Cod liver oil is generally well-tolerated and safe.  But there are a few things you should be aware of.cod-liver-oil-side-effects-1

  1. The most common complaint is a fishy aftertaste. To reduce this, take your cod liver oil with food and avoid taking it right before bedtime.
  2. If you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood-thinning medications, talk to you doctor before taking cod liver oil.  Cod liver oil can thin the blood and cause bleeding issues.  For this reason, you would also want to stop taking cod liver oil about a week before any surgeries.
  3. These drugs interact with cod liver oil.  Talk to your doctor.

Adrucil
Calcitriol
Fluorouracil
Hectorol
Paricalcitol
Rocaltrol
Xeloda
Zemplar
Coumadin
Warfarin
Miradon

4)  A study done on rats in the “Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders” in February 2013 found that cod liver oil may raise blood sugar in diabetics.  An explanation of why this might be was provided by the University of Maryland Medical Center. Their claim is that the body converts fatty acids into sugars which may explain the rise in blood sugar.  If you are a diabetic, take cod liver oil or any fish oil under the care of your healthcare practitioner.

Recent Controversy Surrounding Cod Liver Oil

vitamin A toxicity

Dr. Joseph Mercola recently withdrew his recommendations for taking cod liver oil. His claim is that the cod liver oil of today has the wrong ratios of vitamin D and Vitamin A.  According to him, modern processing for contaminant removal decreases the vitamin D level in the cod liver oil, thus making the vitamin A more toxic to the body.  High amounts of vitamin A are toxic to the body and vitamin A needs vitamin D to buffer this.  

The Weston Price Foundation rebutted his article claiming that Dr. Mercola’s arguments were not sound and that purchasing cod liver oil with the right ratios is still possible.  You can read the response here.

Consumer watchdog agencies have found that many cod liver oil manufacturers do not have the right levels of vitamin A and D, so finding the best sources is very important.

Click here for a list of cod liver oil supplements with the right ratios of vitamin A and D.

Conclusion:

Cod liver oil has been used for hundreds of years to treat rickets and nutrient deficiencies.  Taking cod liver oil during the winter months when sunlight is scarce provides people with adequate levels of vitamin D and A.  

Cod liver oil is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and provides anti-inflammatory effects to the body resulting in lower incidences of cancer, bone loss, cognitive decline, Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), depression among other health challenges.

There has been controversy surrounding the nutrient levels and toxicity of Vitamin A and the manufacturing processes of cod liver oil possibly doing more harm than good.  This has been refuted by other experts, but the importance of taking a reputable product with the right nutrients is very important.  Click here for a list of reputable sources of cod liver oil.

Hope you enjoyed this article and please comment below!  I love to hear from you.

14354940_1147966088611029_3013149574780621067_n(4)Linda Watson is a certified Functional Health Coach

Safest brands of cod liver oil

Safest Brands Of Cod Liver Oil

Cod liver oil is high in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins A and D.  These nutrients help fight inflammation and build the immune system which is critical for many health challenges, especially irritable bowel syndrome (IBD).  Below are the best brands of cod liver oil on the market today.

Vitamin D is difficult to get from whole foods and cod liver oil is one of the top sources. However, cod liver oil that you can purchase today may have ratios of vitamin A and vitamin D that may not be optimal for good health. Vitamin A can be toxic in high quantities and modern processes of cod liver oil have reduced the vitamin D content, making the ratio of vitamin A greater.  This fact has concerned many experts. Read more about cod liver oil here.

Vitamin A also protects against vitamin D toxicity according to Michael F. Holick, MD PhD, a vitamin D researcher.  His research suggests that vitamins A, D, and K2 should be consumed in proper balance for safety and health benefits according to an article by the Weston Price Foundation.

There ARE high-quality cod liver oil brands available today with correct ratios and levels of nutrients. Knowing what brands that are of high quality and have the right ratio of vitamin D and A are extremely important.

blue ice green pasture cod livernutrapro cod liveramrap cod livercarlson cod liver

 

The Best Brands Of Cod Liver Oil (available online)

GOOD Brands Of Cod Liver Oil Available in Stores

  • NOW Foods double strength Cod Liver Oil capsules
  • Sonne’s Cod Liver Oil
  • Swanson double strength Cod Liver Oil capsules
  • Twin Labs non-emulsified liquid Cod Liver Oil

I hope you enjoyed this article on the safest brands of cod liver oil.  Please leave a comment, I love to hear from you!

14354940_1147966088611029_3013149574780621067_n(4)

Linda Watson is a Certified Functional Health Coach practicing in Newtown Ct.

Turmeric for Ulcerative Colitis

Turmeric For Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a disease of the digestive system.  Ulcerative colitis is limited to the large intestine (colon and rectum) and is characterized by inflammation that occurs in the innermost lining of the intestine.  Ulcers may form on the lining of the stomach and the disease can also affect the eyes, skin, and joints. Ulcerative colitis falls under the category of Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD and should not be confused with Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS) which is not an inflammatory condition. Living with this disease can affect the quality of life for those who suffer from it, but there are natural ways to assist in the healing of the gut. Today I’d like to make you aware of the natural food called turmeric for ulcerative colitis healing.

What is Turmeric?

Turmeric is a spice and one of the main components of curry powder.  It was first isolated nearly two centuries ago in 1815 by two German scientists. Its biological activity wasn’t studied until 1949 in Nature for its antibacterial properties and the first clinical trial was published in The Lancet in 1937.  The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. In India, turmeric is used to treat health conditions due to its anti-inflammatory quality.

Compelling evidence has shown that curcumin in turmeric has the ability to inhibit inflammation in various diseases all while being safe and non-toxic. The use of medicinal plants and spices, like turmeric, have become an increasingly attractive approach for ulcerative colitis for those patients that do not respond to drugs or who do not want to take heavy-duty drugs that have undesirable side effects.

Study of Curcumin Vs Placebo for Ulcerative Colitis and Relapse Rate

Recent Studies of Turmeric and Ulcerative Colitis

  1. Curcumin in turmeric scavenges free radicals and nitric oxide. Free radicals are unstable molecules that wreak havoc on healthy cells.  Nitric oxide is good to the body in small amounts but is a danger when levels are high. Ulcerative colitis patients have high inflammation and high nitric oxide levels (Sreejayan & Rao, 1997).
  2. Mice treated with curcumin in turmeric decreased the severity of large intestine damage.  These changes resulted in a decrease in the weight of the colon and spleen that were treated with 50, 100 or 300 mg of curcumin, according to a study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology.
  3. Curcumin in turmeric was superior to placebo in maintaining remission in patients with ulcerative colitis. A randomized, double-blind, Japanese study determined the relapse rate for those patients taking curcumin was significantly lower than the placebo group.
  4. A placebo-controlled maintenance trial of curcumin 2 g/day for 6 months showed a trend towards a reduced relapse rate (4% vs. 18%, RR 0.24, P = 0.06) and a significantly reduced endoscopic score.

Should you take Turmeric or Curcumin?

turmeric vs curcumin

The technical difference between the two is that turmeric is the yellowish powder used to flavor foods, while curcumin is the nutrient found in turmeric.

Most clinical studies use turmeric extract. The powdered spice turmeric has fewer “curcuminoid” compounds (curcumin) by weight than turmeric extract — which are believed to be important to turmeric’s effects. In turmeric extracts, the concentration of curcumin is very high, almost 95% and is why turmeric extract is used in studies.

According to ConsumerLab, turmeric extracts are less likely to be contaminated with heavy metals such as lead. If that’s not enough, turmeric powders can contain filth such as insect parts. Always check on the purity of the brand of turmeric powder you use.

So if you think sprinkling a little bit of turmeric spice on your food once a day will get you the same results as in the studies, that would be a stretch.  

My recommendation would be to stick to turmeric extracts when suffering from ulcerative colitis and use turmeric powder as a spice in cooking.

***TIP ***

Turmeric and curcumin are not easily absorbed by the body.  Black pepper or piperine ( a substance in black pepper responsible for its pungency) should be added to your turmeric powder or should come standard in your turmeric extract supplement.   

Be patient when taking turmeric supplements as the full benefit may not be felt for 60 days.

Turmeric precautions
  • If you suffer from liver disease it’s best to not take turmeric at all, but check with your healthcare practitioner.
  • Rarely, if turmeric is taken daily over a prolonged period of time, some mild stomach upset may occur.
  • If you are a diabetic, be aware that turmeric may reduce blood sugar levels.  A good thing, but you need to be aware of this.
  • If you are pregnant, avoid turmeric as there is a possibility of uterine stimulation.
  • If nursing, talk to your doctor.
  • Stop using turmeric two weeks before surgery as it can cause excessive bleeding.
  • Do not take turmeric if you have gallstones and check with your healthcare practitioner.
  • Young children should not take turmeric.

Changing Habits Turmeric Powder

Dosage

Adults: take 400 to 600mgs of turmeric extract three times a day or as recommended by your health-care practitioner.

**Great brands to try **

Schwartz Bioresearch      Doctor Recommended
             

Final word

Turmeric powder is a spice that has been used for centuries for it’s healing and anti-inflammatory properties.  Turmeric’s main component is curcumin and curcumin have been studied for its ability to reduce inflammation for many health conditions including ulcerative colitis.  In fact, studies show the remission times are longer for those suffering from ulcerative colitis who take turmeric extract.

I love to hear from my readers! I’ll get right back to you!

 

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Linda Watson is a Certified Health Coach

Restore Gut Health

How To Restore Gut Health

If you are living with digestive issues ranging from simple indigestion to Irritable Bowel Disease like Chron’s or colitis, I bet you’re wondering if living a normal life free of gas, constipation, bloating, pain, diarrhea is possible. Yes, it is possible and if you are a reader of my blog, you will know that there are many things you can do as far as lifestyle, diet and supplements go to help you get back to living a normal life again. Today, I’d like to talk about how to restore gut health. There is a formula so let’s begin!

Why Does My Stomach Hurt?abdominal_discomfort

They say good health starts in the gut and researchers are understanding more and more every day that this is true. When we are born, we come into this world with a sterile microbiome. As we interact with the environment, our gut starts the process of forming colonies of bacteria also known as our microbiome or gut bacteria. The very first bacteria formed is lactobacillus Johnsonii which is the bacteria needed to digest mother’s breast milk. So as you can see, an infant cannot digest mother’s milk, but the gut bacteria can. We are almost 90 percent microbial! We used to think that these bacteria were there to harm us, but in fact, gut bacteria is in us to help us survive.

As we get older, our environment shapes the colonies of gut bacteria and the more diverse our bacteria the healthier we are as individuals. Medicine, antibiotics, vaccines can all disrupt the diverse and complex microbiome and set us up for all kinds of illnesses in the future.

Researchers have discovered about ten thousand species of gut bacteria and they have no idea what all of them are needed for. Thankfully we do understand more and more every year. In fact, we acquire other people’s bacteria from casual contact because our microbiome is dynamic and changing all the time.  Within 24 hours there can be a major shift in the diversity of your microbiome.

Irritable bowel syndrome and irritable bowel disease (ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s) are two very different diagnoses. IBS is nowhere near the inflammation markers of an IBD sufferer, but many of the symptoms overlap. According to studies, they do share a common thread and that is the diversity of their microbiome is reduced. When bad bacteria overtake the good in your digestive system, your symptoms will be constipation, gas, bad breath, diarrhea and stomach pain. Learning how to improve the diversity of your gut bacteria is critical to start feeling better and improving your digestive health.  

                                                   4 rs

How to Restore Gut Health

Dr. Raphael Kellman, MD, and author of Microbiome suggests a four-point plan to achieve a healthy microbiome. When looking to balance the microbiome it’s critical to Remove that which is compromising healthy gut bacteria. Replace that which the gut needs to digest food properly. Reinoculate with healthy bacteria. Repair the lining of the intestinal wall.

This all sounds so easy, just 4 things to do to get healthy! Nothing is easy, but it is very simple. Do them and within months you will be feeling so much better and on your way to vibrant living again.

Let’s look at them in detail.

 1) Remove You’ll need to remove from your diet anything that can compromise healthy digestion or increase bad bacteria. Removal of parasites is also included in this process. This means absolutely NO sugar, gluten, eggs, dairy, soy or any food made with these foods. No unhealthy fats like trans fats. No preservatives, artificial colors or flavors, no artificial sweeteners and the avoidance of environmental toxins like household cleaners. For a more detailed list, click here. Removing parasites involves the use of oregano oil, grapefruit seed extract, garlic, wormwood, and berberine.  Learn how to kill parasites with natural essential oils here.

Once these foods are removed, you are on your way to balancing your gut. Sugar, gluten, eggs, dairy, and soy feed bad bacteria resulting in more bad bacteria than good. When this happens, inflammation occurs making the lining of the gut more permeable resulting in fat storage, gas, bloating and other symptoms.

 2) Replace now it’s important to replace the stomach acid, enzymes, and friendly bacteria to restore healthy digestion. If you’re suffering from GERD or reflux/heartburn, you’re probably asking yourself right now, why on earth would I replace stomach acid? Most people who have these GERD or reflux/heartburn are suffering from low stomach acid, not too much stomach acid.

To replace stomach acid, hydrochloric acid tablets are used until relief is felt. Hydrochloric acid also helps keep unfriendly bacteria at bay. Next, enzymes are needed to break food down in the stomach. Enzymes are found in fresh whole fruits and vegetables which people do not eat in abundance anymore. Bromelain is one of the beneficial enzymes needed for digestion. Enzymes need to be taken with every meal to aid in digestion to also heal the gut. Read more about how probiotics can help your stomach issues here.

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 3) Reinoculate Now we have to reinoculate the gut with probiotics and prebiotics. Prebiotics are what good bacteria eat to thrive and gain in abundance. When probiotics and prebiotics are added together, the good bacteria will feed on the prebiotics and increase in number and diversity. It is very important to take them together. Probiotics can be taken in pill form to get the standardized dose or can be eaten in the form of fermented foods like raw sauerkraut, kimchee, and other fermented foods. Read more about fermented foods here. Prebiotics can also be taken in capsule form or you can eat them. Asparagus, carrots, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, jicama, leeks, onions, and radishes are rich in prebiotics because of the special fiber they contain.

 4) Repair If you are experiencing IBS, IBD, gas, bloating, Sibo, Leaky gut, diarrhea, constipation, and pain there is a level of inflammation and damage to the lining of the gut. Now it’s time to repair it. To reduce inflammation in the gut there are foods and supplements that can be eaten and taken to relieve and heal. Quercitin and curcumin (turmeric) help reduce inflammation. Here’s an easy recipe for Golden Milk which contains turmeric. L-glutamine has been shown in studies to heal the lining of the gut and is a very important supplement to take. The prebiotic foods listed above are also healing to the gut as well. So while you’re reinoculating with prebiotics, you are also repairing the lining of the intestinal wall as well.

As you can see, restoring gut health is as simple as remove, replace, reinoculate and repair. However putting this simple formula into practice can be daunting. I suggest working with an expert in gut health, like myself, to get on a good program. You can work with me one on one and finally feel better.  Sign up here and I’ll get you more information:

One on One Gut Health Coaching

Or you can purchase an online program where you can work independently.  I highly recommend Solving Leaky Gut, a fantastic gut health program that will make you feel better.

 If you enjoyed this article, please comment below, I love to hear from my readers.

How to Kill Intestinal Parasites

How To Kill Intestinal Parasites

Parasites are living organisms that live on or in a host organism and utilize the host organism’s nutrients and in so doing, hurt the host organism. Infections with human intestinal parasites represent one of the most common health problems of our days, and they are usually accompanied by symptoms such as anemia, constipation, bloating, digestive disorders and skin abnormalities. Many people completely refuse to take the issue of intestinal parasites seriously, not wanting to believe they suffer from such an uncomfortable and embarrassing health condition.  In this article, I will share with you how to kill intestinal parasites naturally.

However, there is little to be ashamed of, since all humans are exposed to parasitic organisms through various means like air, food, and drinks we consume or come in contact with. Besides the use of powerful anti-parasite drugs that are usually prescribed, there are natural ways to prevent or deal with parasitic infections, particularly since we are talking about long-term interventions. There are specific herbs that Mother Nature has in store for us that create a completely unfriendly environment for intestinal parasites. Below are some herbal oil extracts and how they can be used for getting rid of intestinal parasites.

Oil of oregano oregano_facebook

Nature provides us with many things and remedies are one of them. Oregano has been used for centuries as an antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent for a range of health issues. Oil of oregano is a potent and highly effective natural remedy for treating bacterial infections on the skin or in wounds but is also a perfect means of curing intestinal parasites. The essential oil of oregano is extracted through steam distillation of fresh oregano leaves. Its dominant components are Carvacrol, Thymol, Cymene, Caryophyllene, Pinene, Bisabolene, Linalool, Borneol, Geranyl Acetate, Linalyl Acetate and Terpinene. Chinese doctors have used oregano for centuries to treat cases of vomiting, diarrhea and skin problems. It is a digestive aid which helps to loosen and remove mucus, also helps to help get rid of intestinal parasites. Oregano is known to have powerful antioxidant activity. Opt only for oregano oil made from Origanum vulgare and Thymus capitatus, a variety that grows in Spain. 

How to take:   Dilute the oil (mix a drop with a drop of a carrier oil such as coconut oil), and place it under your tongue. Hold it there for a few minutes, and then rinse it out. Repeat this at least four times a day.

Oil of wormwood wormwood

Wormwood oil has as a component “thujone” which makes it a bit toxic but thujone makes wormwood an ideal deodorant because of its distinct smell and it’s properties that kill those bacteria contributing to body odor. Wormwood is used to eliminate intestinal parasites like worms, especially pinworms and roundworms. Pinworms are the most common worm infection whose eggs spread directly from person to person. Roundworms, or nematodes, are parasites that also infect human intestines.

Pinworms can cause extreme itching in the anal region while roundworms can cause a cough, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhea, blood in the stool, weight loss, and presence of the worm in vomit or stool. Parasites are never a good thing, but thankfully they’re treatable with natural remedies like wormwood oil. Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), black walnut and clove are commonly used together to kill off a parasitic infection. It’s said that when these three are taken at the same time, together they’re able to break the parasite’s life cycle.

How to take –  Wormwood is best to take in capsule form when killing parasites.  Some use teas and tinctures, but a standardized capsule is the way to go.  Combine it with black walnut and you have a potent parasitic cleanse. Try this organic variety here. 

Essential oil of cloves  cloves

Clove oil is extracted from the clove bud through distillation and it contains eugenol, caryophyllene, and tannins, which are powerful antimicrobial agents. Clove oil is also rich in calcium, iron, sodium, phosphorous, potassium, and Vitamins A and C. Eugenol is reported to be anti-bacterial, antiseptic, anti-viral, anti-spasmodic, a broad-spectrum antimicrobial, etc. Eugenol is the volatile oil responsible for the aroma of cloves and it starts to dissipate as soon as they are grounded. These components travel through the bloodstream, killing microscopic parasites and intestinal parasitic larvae and eggs.  Cloves are also effective at killing Staphylococcus and Streptococcus bacteria. Clove oil is very strong and should always be used with a carrier oil and only used for short periods of time, up to 2 weeks when taken internally.

How to take – Use 2-3 drops of clove oil in water with fresh squeezed lemon and drink this 3x daily.

In conclusion, when parasitic infections are suspected it’s time to do a parasitic cleanse. Knowing that there are very effective essential oils that are effective in killing parasites is gratifying.   Taking the highest quality herbs and essential oils is paramount especially when taking essential oils internally.  I highly recommend these essential oils when taking them internally.  To purchase the oils mentioned above, Amazon.com carries Plant Therapy, a reputable, quality brand of essential oils.  Wild Harvest is a great brand to purchase wormwood capsules.

gut-bacteria-380x292

Killing Bad Bacteria Gut Information

When there is an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut, it opens the door to all sorts of health challenges ranging from simple digestive issues like too much gas and bloating to autoimmune diseases.  Having an overgrowth of bad bacteria also influences our cravings for food.  Did you ever crave sugary foods? Thank your gut bacteria for that.  Bad bacteria feeds off of sugar and when they need more ‘food’ they will influence your brain to make the decision to eat more sugar.  Thought you had no willpower? Well think again, it’s your microbes demanding to be fed!  Bad bacteria also influences whether your body will store food as fat rather than energy. Killing bad bacteria gut Information is important to know and apply in your life so you can finally be free of your microbes determining the state of your health, cravings, and weight.Overgrowth of Bad Bacteria

How to Kill Bad Bacteria In The Gut

  1. The first thing you need to do to kill off bad bacteria is to stop eating sugar.  Bad gut bacteria feed off of sugar so you need to starve them and kill them off. If you need help getting sugar out of your life, I highly recommend you to do a sugar detox.
  2. Take simple carbs out of your diet.  Simple carbs like bread, rice, and pasta turn to sugar and feed the bad bacteria just like sweet foods do.
  3. Increase antioxidants that boost your immune system like OPC’s , vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids, and bioflavonoids.  You can purchase these in supplement forms but it’s always best to eat the organic, whole food variety of these antioxidants.  But to jumpstart a program of killing bacteria, it can be a good idea to use supplements to quicken the process. These antioxidants boost the immune system which then attacks bad bacteria.  
  4. Oregano oil – 4 drops of oregano oil a day can help kill off bad bacteria. Read more about other ways to kill off bad bacteria with oregano oil here.   

Other Ways To Reduce Bad Bacteria

Killing off bad bacteria is a great first step in reducing the overgrowth of bacteria in your gut, but there are other ways to reduce bad bacteria.  If you do all of the above but continue a lifestyle that fosters the growth of bad bacteria, you won’t make much headway.  Here are other things to avoid to reduce bad bacteria.

AVOID

  • Chemicals and preservatives in food.  Read labels and stay away from ingredients you don’t understand.
  • Antibiotics. We overuse antibiotics and it increases the ratio of bad bacteria. Do not use antibiotics for simple colds and flu.  It’s not necessary and will do more damage in the long term.  Antibiotics kill off all bacteria, good and bad. If you have to take antibiotics make sure you are taking a high quality probiotic. Check out my shop page for some excellent ones.
  • Chlorine can be in our tap water and it destroys gut bacteria.  Use filtered, high-quality water for home use and purchase high-quality spring water to avoid chlorine.
  • Environmental toxins.  Things like household cleaners, pesticides, lawn chemicals etc will wreak havoc on our good bacteria allowing bad bacteria to thrive.
  • Excessive stress.  To balance stress, you need to incorporate stress-reducing activities into your daily life.  Do crossword puzzles, sleep for 7-8 hours every night, meditate, exercise.  For more information about how to start a meditation practice sign up here:

Beginner/intermediate Meditation


meditation

  • Avoid hand sanitizers. Hand sanitizers kill beneficial bacteria as well as bad bacteria. Plain soap and water will do the trick.
  • Avoid heavy metals.  This means staying away from canned tuna which can have high levels of mercury.
  • Do not eat traditional meat.  Meat traditionally raised is filled with chemicals and antibiotics.  This is passed on to you when you consume it.  Always go for organic and grass fed beef.
  • Stay away from NSAIDs and OTC pain relievers.  They kill off good bacteria. If you need pain relief try a bowl of tart cherries or drink Golden Milk which is made with turmeric a potent pain reliever. Here is a recipe for Golden Milk, drink it every day.
  • Trans fats. Trans fats are very damaging to the body and increase inflammation which allows bad bacteria to survive. Stick with healthy fats like olive oil, avocado oil, grass fed butter, coconut oil etc.

In conclusion, killing bad bacteria is a way to heal your gut and start the healing process.  But killing bad bacteria is not the end of the process.  Avoiding those foods and environmental toxins that encourage the growth of bad bacteria is also necessary to do. If you’d like to start an effective sugar detox to jump start the process, I recommend Diane Sanfilippo’s 21 Day Detox.
If you enjoyed this article, please comment below.  I love to hear from my readers!

Full Spectrum Light Therapy

Benefits Of Full Spectrum Light Therapy

Many health disorders can be traced back to insufficient lighting. Most lighting in our homes, schools, and offices lack the full spectrum light of the sun that our bodies require to function optimally. The benefits of full spectrum light therapy is a way to gain back the benefits of naturally healing, naturally beneficial sunlight.

A long time ago, I read that women out in sunny California had fewer rates of breast cancer than women in the Northeast.  We are told to stay out of the sun for fear of skin cancer, but we may have done ourselves a huge disservice by being afraid of the sun.

The sun’s rays and their effects on our health go way beyond vitamin D synthesis which most mainstream doctors are concerned about today.  There is certainly reason for concern as vitamin D deficiency is an epidemic in the United States. The sun’s rays keep our biological systems running optimally.UV-Spectrum-1024x561

The Spectrum Of The Sun’s Rays

Sunlight or solar radiation, is visible at the earth’s surface. Sunlight is broken down into 3 components. They are visible light, ultraviolet light and infrared. Visible light makes up half of the total radiation received by the sun. Infrared rays is responsible for it’s heat producing quality and is the other major percentage of the sun’s radiation. Ultraviolet light is just a small percentage of the sun’s radiation but it’s responsible for producing vitamin D. Pollution robs us of ultraviolet light, thus decreasing our body’s ability to manufacture vitamin D. However, there are other components of sunlight that we haven’t even scratched the surface with yet as far as understanding the biological activity they activate within us. Much more research needs to be done.

Most of us have heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD which affects many people during the cold fall and winter months where there is not a lot of sunlight during the day. Although SAD is a very real problem, it’s not the only health issue brought about by the lack of full-spectrum sunlight. We are all aware of vitamin D deficiency due to lack of sunlight too, but did you know there are many other health conditions that are directly related to lack of sunlight? If you’d like to read more about vitamin D deficiency and gut health and other health problems, click here.Read More About Vitamin D

Other Health Related Issues Related To Lack Of Sunlight

  • Nearsightedness is on the rise and experts say it’s affecting ⅓ of the earth’s population.  Studies show that kids who spend more time in the sunlight have a lower risk of myopia. (nearsightedness)
  • You have a higher risk of muscular sclerosis if you live above Georgia for the first 10 years of your life.
  • Sleep problems due to the disruption of circadian rhythm.
  • Lowers your immune system exposing you to more colds and flu. The immune system is located primarily in the lining of your gut.
  • A greater risk of breast and prostate cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Now that you know how important natural sunlight is and how most Americans are not getting the benefits of natural sunlight that results in many health conditions, it’s time to incorporate technology in our homes, schools, and work that mimic natural sunlight is of the utmost importance.

Benefits of Full-Spectrum Light

The goal is to mimic as much as possible our ancestor’s environment where exposure to natural sunlight was abundant in their day to day life.

To the rescue is modern technology!kelvin light therapy

Most light boxes do not include infrared or ultraviolet light to protect the eyes and skin from damaging UV light. When purchasing a light box you’ll want to understand the Color Rendering Index or CRI. CRI measures the ability of a light source to render color and runs on a scale of 1-100. Daylight has a CRI between 80-100. Kelvin refers to color temperature. The sun ranges at noon time between 4000 to 6500k (Kelvins). So a 5000K lamp that has a CRI of 80, would be a lamp that mimics sunlight and can be called ‘full-spectrum’.  You want to be careful of claims that say full-spectrum but are actually not.

You can also find light bulbs that are labeled full-spectrum and are very expensive, but if you can look for the Kelvins and CRI of light bulbs that mimic sunlight as referenced above, you can save some money. So knowing what to look for is important.

Other Factors To Look For

  • Has the box been clinically tested?
  • Does it provide 10,000 lux of light?
  • Does it deliver light downward mimicking the sun?
  • Is the light diffused evenly?

Safety – Very Important!

It is very important to purchase the safest product. Look for these features.

(1) the absence of UV wavelengths

(2) a proper diffusing screen

(3) UL listing.

Experts believe the addition of UV light is not necessary for full-spectrum light therapy.  Due to the damage UV rays can have on the skin and eyes for long periods of time, a good quality device should not have it.

A diffusing screen should be included in a quality light therapy device. What a diffuser does is spread the light evenly across the unit to make the light more comfortable for the eyes. 10,000 lux is the highest amount of light that’s been tested in clinical studies and the light should be diffused evenly.   

UL listing is important to guarantee the safety of the unit. It stands for Underwriters Laboratories. This group tests and certifies electronic products for consumer safety in the U.S.

So, to save you time in looking on your own, I have provided a list of those full-spectrum light boxes and bulbs that are the best.

Aurora Light Pad Mini – 10,000 Lux.  The Aurora Light Pad Mini is portable and doctor recommended.

Alaska Northern Lights- North Star – 10,000 Lux Proven in clinical trials – recommended by many doctors and institutions.

 

Sun Touch Plus Light and Ion Therapy – 10,000 Lux. Recommended by Columbia Department of Psychiatry and the New York State Psychiatry Institute.

Carribean Sun LED Light Therapy Box – 10,000 LUX Very low power consumption