By Jackie RondeauAs a young woman I had no idea what a hormonal imbalance was but I can remember having days when I would feel emotional or slightly depressed and my mom would tell me that all women felt like this when their cycle was nearing. When "it' finally arrived all the things I had experienced in the two weeks leading up were gone. Women all over the world suffer with some kind of hormonal Imbalance and for some of us we can work our way through it without "hurting anyone". Today, young girls are getting their menstrual cycle earlier than we did and their bodies seem to be developing at an earlier rate. All to often, women will go through some kind of emotional roller coaster and along with her she'll take her family and co-workers. The medical community has all but one solution called "The Pill" but is that the band aid that cures all? What you would really like is harmony in your home and to stop feeling imprisoned by your own body.
Hormonal Imbalance symptoms can be: bloating, cramps, breast tenderness, anxiety, aggression, joint and muscle pain, headaches, acne, mood swings, fatigue, poor digestion, yeast infections, food cravings, insomnia and of course stress. Really, is there anything left!
Some women will be fortunate in the sense that they will only deal with a couple of the above issues but what about those who suffer on a much higher level, who just can't seem to cope? Not being able to cope means that family life can be in shambles for the weeks leading up to. Everyone is on egg shells not really wanting to look at you in fear that some ones head might get chewed off. The things the children did a week ago that would normally have been okay are not. Suddenly you realize you are dealing with a hormonal imbalance once again. Unfortunately, it doesn't end there, co-workers won't talk to you or avoid you because they're not sure how you'll react.
Today, young girls as early as 10 years old are getting their menstrual cycle or have all the symptoms that it will be arriving soon. So why is this? Why is it that young girls are getting their periods sooner rather than later?
Well one reason is food processing. Today, our food has been processed and altered to suit our busy lifestyles. The meat we eat has been injected with antibiotics and in other foods the natural vitamins and minerals are taken out only for them to be put back in at a later stage of processing. Fruits and vegetables which could only be bought seasonally can be purchased any time of the year the only difference now is the fact that they are picked before their time and left to ripen on a truck on the way from who knows where. These days breads can sit on the grocery store shelves for a couple of weeks and pasta and most cereals, even though they may have an expiry date, can last up to 10 years only getting stale but not going bad. Even if a product has the name Whole Grains on it it contains the fiber but not the most important part which are the oils because these oils will go rancid which in turn means a shorter shelf life for the product.
What does this have to do with you? Well everything! At the turn of the century when the flour mill was introduced, it stripped vital oils from the wheat so that the white bread and flour that we love so much would have a longer lifespan. Shortly thereafter, women started to have hormonal imbalances as well as chronic fatigue and adrenal fatigue. A study done at a hospital in Southern California recognized the importance of these oils called Lipids and Sterols and fed them to women in a controlled study. What they found was women with these issues responded to the oils and started to feel better about themselves and the PMS they suffered with had deteriorated. We now know that these oils feed the Endocrine Gland system and are vital, but that's not all.
In the late 60's it was discovered that each cell in the body produces it's own hormones for important body function. They control many important functions of the body such as blood pressure and even childbirth contractions. These hormones are produced at the cellular level and they also require Lipids and Sterols to do their job properly.
The medical community's answer is a band aid solution to this problem. While I'm not being insensitive to those of us that really need medication and I do believe there is a place for that but often you hear of doctor's giving young girls the pill to regulate their period. The health concern of taking the pill for prolonged periods of time should not be downplayed. It's still a fake hormone entering the body and while it will help it's the prolonged use of any medication that is troublesome. Risks of taking the pill as you get older and if you smoke are also a concern. Is it time to look at alternatives to help in this department?
When looking at alternatives, take the time to do some research which could save you a lot of headaches later on, (sorry, no pun intended). Try and choose a product that is as close to nature as intended. What's in the product? Where was it manufactured? Was it manufactured with other products, which could affect you if it was cross contaminated with some thing else. Don't always buy based on price. You really do get what you pay for. Educate yourself so you can make your choices wisely.
As much as we sometimes don't like to hear it, exercise is one of those things that can help with stress and cramps. Tightening up the abdominal muscles can and will help ease the cramping experienced during that time of then month. When I refer to exercising, I don't mean running a marathon, I mean going out for a walk at least 3 times a week if not more. The fresh air and the exercise will help raise the heart beat and is also great in relieving stress and we all have a fair share of that in our lives.
Medication doesn't have to be the be all and end all. We women and young girls, with the help of their mothers, can feel empowered to take leadership of our bodies to help find answers to our hormonal imbalance so that our friends, family and co-workers won't have to take cover when they see us.
Jackie Rondeau is the owner and author of http://www.fatigue-to-fantastic.com After suffering with fatigue for many, many years and searching for ways to increase her energy and feel better, she came across products that made a profound difference in her life. Products that are Based In Nature and Backed By Science! Products which are from the human food chain, products that actually work!
If you, like me, have been searching for something to help with your fatigue visit my site and drop me a line. Taking the first step to feeling better is a click away.
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By Julie WatermanWhat happens when you are stressed out? Your body goes into "flight or fight" mode. Without getting too technical, there are actual physical changes that take place; your heart and blood pressure increase, your blood gets rerouted from internal organs to your muscles (just in case you have to run from that mountain lion).
Other changes take place that put normal things like digestion, tissue repair and your immune system on hold. That is OK for a short time, but if you are in a constant state of stress, your body starts to break down, and you become more susceptible to chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. Other things like memory loss and depression are also linked to stress.
What can you do?
Exercise plays a key role in stress reduction: If you haven't started moving yet, it is time to start! Join a Zumba or Yoga class, (ballroom dancing anyone?) take a 10-15 minute walk before dinner, join in a sport league (for the over 30, 40, 50 crowd). Start with a small change. Other ways to help yourself: Relaxation, breathing techniques, connecting with others and finding some activity that adds joy to your life.
Certain vitamins and minerals are essential for survival. Stress depletes your body of these minerals. As you figure out how to manage your stress, make sure you are getting proper nutrition. These include things like B vitamins, antioxidants (hello blueberries), magnesium, omega-3's, and fiber. Let's see; blueberries, spinach, oatmeal, (your mom was right) and salmon is a good place to start. Say: NO MORE FAST FOOD!
Julie Waterman is an ACE certified fitness instructor and independent distributor with Reliv International, a food science company which researches, develops and manufactures patented nutritional products. All of our products are carefully monitored for purity and potency and are made here in the U.S.A. These nutritional supplements have therapeutic amounts of vitamins, minerals and herbs rather than just the minimum amounts. Targeted formulas are also available for weight loss, metabolic syndrome (blood sugar control), joint health, heart health and reversing the aging process. For more information or to order products, please visit our website athttps://healthylife.reliv.com.
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By Kristi Patrice CarterMany people believe that chronic fatigue immune dysfunction is just a condition that makes one tired. What most people do not realize that this condition, which is also known as chronic fatigue syndrome, causes very real and debilitating symptoms. The unrelenting fatigue that one experiences with this condition is much more serious than that of just being tired. People that suffer with CFID can experience fatigue so severe that in can literally render them incapacitated. In addition, they may experience short term memory loss as well as concentration deficits.
A person with CFID will also have flu-like symptoms such as, a sore throat, headache, painful or achy muscles and joints as well as restless sleep. The severity of the symptoms as well as the actual symptoms that one deals with will vary greatly from person to person. CFID is a difficult illness to understand, as many of the symptoms go un-noticed. People who suffer with CFID, often feel very alone as most do not feel that this is a serious condition due to lack of education.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia are very similar to CFID. Many believe that they are all generally caused from the same factors. Factors such as a sequence of stresses that eventually will overcome a person that has developed or was born with an adrenal glad that is under developed. It has also been shown that a severe tragic or stressful event on the body such as an untreated illness can trigger the onset of these conditions.
The top reason still remains the same but for the most part they are due to many years of suffering from different stresses. Over a period of time the body’s adrenal glad gets weak as well as the immune system. This can make it difficult for your immune system and your adrenal glad to do their jobs inside of your body.
If you think that you may suffer with one of these illnesses, you should seek the advice of a trusted doctor. Together, you two can find the underlying causes for your condition. You can work on a plan together to get you feeling much better and sleeping better in no time at all. There are different treatments available to take care of your symptoms but be careful on what ones you go with. What may work well for someone else may not work well for another. The severity of your particular condition will help you and your doctor determine what method of treatment is the right one for you.
Kristi Patrice Carter is an experienced marketing consultant and copywriter that has been battling Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Fibromyalgia for over 3 years. She created http://www.chronicfatiguerelapse.com to assist others who are experiencing this debilitating condition or hoping to avoid a relapse of symptoms after a symptom-free time. Learn more about Chronic Fatigue Relapse.
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By Chelsea AlvesDo you ever find yourself working for hours on end sitting in an office chair without getting up to take a break? This is not uncommon, in fact most people either do not know or forget to take breaks when working long hours sitting in one position. Whether you work full time or part-time from home or in a traditional workplace setting, it is still important to take breaks. Taking breaks while working long hours is essential and crucial to your health.
Employers may need to think about the environment in which their work takes place in order to develop an adequate plan for allowing time for breaks. For jobs which are full time, two shorter breaks is often adequate. People who work behind a computer all day should take a break every hour or so and be able to get up and move round. This enables them from being in a seated posture all day staring at the screen. People who work in highly repetitive jobs should be offered more frequent shorter breaks in order to prevent boredom which can result in a decrease in productivity, a decrease in proficiency, and less mistakes. There are many reasons why regular breaks are important; here are just a few.
When starting your new routine of taking breaks, start small with 5 minute breaks and work your way up in about a week or two. Taking breaks at work cannot be considered being lazy, especially when you take short meaningful ones. There is no harm in trying, but there is harm in not trying.
- Circulation is impaired by prolonged sitting: When you sit in static postures where you are not moving, circulation can be impeded. When blood flow to an active muscle is impaired, the oxygen supply is diminished, which over time can impair muscle function. The feeling of fatigue often is related to circulation and blood supply.
- Working on the computer distorts the awareness of time: When working for long hours on the computer most people do not take breaks frequently enough, nor do they realize how much time has passed since they began working. An easy way to eliminate this problem is to make sure people take regular breaks by using time reminders.
- Burnout: People who work continually face complete burnout and what good is a burnt out employee? Physical exhaustion can lead to problems such as chronic headaches, fatigue, inability to concentrate, and trouble sleeping at night. Even if all you take is 15 minutes during an 8 hour work day, you can use that time to refresh yourself and feel more energized the rest of the work day.
- Productivity: Many studies have revealed that workers who take breaks are dramatically more productive during the day as opposed to those who do not. After a break, your performance levels increase dramatically so that you can tackle tasks again with renewed vigor and finish them accurately. Mistakes are also made more when you do not refresh your mind and body.
- Heart Risks: After researchers in Finland conducted a study on a group of nearly 800 workers over the span of 28 years, they found that subjects who failed to find time to recover from their workweek were more likely to eventually die of cardiovascular disease. If people are not able to relax periodically, plaques can build up in their arteries which contribute to potential heart attacks and or strokes.
- Stress: Focusing on a tedious task for too long can easily lead to physical and mental stress. Stress as most know, can lead to serious implications for our health. Common consequences of stress include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, poor fitness, low resistance to viruses, and serious illnesses. If something that is being worked on becomes too stressful, it is best to take a break from it and resume the work once calm and collected.
- Repetitive Stress Injuries: Especially for those that sit at a desk all day staring at a computer, it is easy to develop repetitive stress injuries such as eyestrain from staring at a computer screen too long. Carpal Tunnel is also another injury which can develop from spending too much time typing and not typing in the proper position. Sitting in an office chair too long generally leads to wanting to fidget and move posture, most of the time into improper posture. By not sitting correctly and having adequate lumbar support, back and neck pain is sure to develop.
Chelsea Alves is the marketing manager for Sitbetter.com, a company dedicated to finding the best chairs for you, at the best price possible, with the best customer service available. For more information on how to find the perfect office chair for you please visit http://www.sitbetter.com/.
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By Mark Rosenberg, M.D.No one knows your body better than you do. Occasionally, I will treat a patient who is experiencing a variety of symptoms without an obvious cause. Unfortunately, some doctors tell patients it is "all in their heads" when test results fail to reveal a specific problem. This is often the case in people who suffer from adrenal exhaustion. Traditional tests may not detect small changes in hormone levels, yet symptoms persist. I will explain how to recognize adrenal exhaustion and provide some solutions for living with this condition.
What Causes Adrenal Exhaustion?
The adrenals are two small glands near the kidneys. They produce a variety of hormones, like cortisol, adrenaline and DHEA, which help you cope with day-to-day events. Most of you will be familiar with adrenaline, also known as the "fight or flight" hormone. Adrenaline prepares your body to respond to stressful situations by either solving problems on the spot or quickly removing you from danger. For example, you see a small child about to step in front of a car. A rush of adrenaline gives your body the speed and agility to quickly whisk the child out of harm's way.
We all tap into our body's supply of adrenaline from time to time. Certain people, however, may be under so much stress that they burn through adrenaline faster than it can be replenished. When adrenaline levels are depleted, other hormones must adapt, and soon the whole system is topsy turvy. Stress that depletes adrenaline is often chronic, perhaps due to your job, an unmanageable schedule or constant anxiety. For many women, the hormonal changes accompanying pre-menopause can trigger adrenal exhaustion.
Symptoms of adrenal exhaustion are often confused with other conditions, such as depression, chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia. In fact, common symptoms include feeling tired and feeling depressed. Other symptoms reported by patients are sleep disturbances, body aches and digestive problems. If your doctor rules out other specific conditions, such as the ones mentioned above, you may be suffering from adrenal exhaustion.
How to Cope
It is possible to restore balance to your adrenal glands through natural lifestyle changes. You must address the issue from every angle.
First, you may need to make some big changes to manage stress. Most patients can pinpoint their source of stress, and this is the first step to health. Change your routine, look for a new job, practice stress-reduction techniques, or stop spending time with people who sap your positive energy. Equally important to reducing external stressors is reducing the stress you put upon yourself internally. Banishing negative thoughts and replacing them with a positive mantra is one smart strategy. Many people find that counseling helps them change their attitude and put a stop to negative self talk.
Dietary changes can make an impact on your body's hormonal balance. Strive to eat natural, unprocessed foods. Eliminate added sugar and reduce your intake of white carbohydrates as much as possible. Instead, include protein in every meal and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Caffeine can wreak havoc on your adrenal glands, so you might consider weaning yourself off of coffee and tea. Drink decaf and rely on 7 to 8 hours of sleep to keep energy levels up. Regular, moderate exercise is another proven way to maintain energy. It also improves your mood and motivates you to eat healthfully.
Vitamin supplements are important for nutritional support, as well. A multiple vitamin is good for starters. Look for high-quality brands that contain plenty of vitamin C, B vitamins, zinc and magnesium. That's why I recommend taking a daily multi-vitamin to every one of my patients.
Some herbs can support healthy hormone levels, too. Licorice root extract may mimic the effects of cortisol. Start with a quarter teaspoon each day and slowly work up to three times a day. If you have high blood pressure, you should not take this herb. Siberian ginseng may contain a precursor to the hormone, DHEA. Take 100 mg twice a day before 3 P.M. so that it does not interfere with sleep.
Adrenal exhaustion can be frustrating, especially when doctors are uncertain about the proper diagnosis. See a specialist in hormone therapy or an endocrinologist. Most importantly, listen to your body. You have the power to make changes that will positively impact your health.
Mark Rosenberg, M.D
Institute For Healthy Aging
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