Chronic Stress as a Clue: Part II
Prior to 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared stress the “Health Epidemic of the 21st Century”. The ramifications of chronic stress costs American businesses an estimated $300 billion dollars annually, though that stat is a pretty cold way to look at stress… from a purely financial perspective. Numerous studies show that job stress is the leading cause of stress for American adults. Other triggers include finances, relationships, parenting, and trauma…. Oh, and let’s not forget simply living through 2020/2021.
Unpacking stress as a clue is like peeling back the layers of an onion. What actually happens to a body that is chronically stressed?
Initially, we may feel the effects of adrenaline and cortisol being released. The heart speeds up, digestion slows down, the blood supply shunts blood to major muscle groups, and fight or flight kicks in. In normal situations, the perceived threat eventually leaves and we relax and recover.
In a state of chronic stress, this scenario doesn’t happen the way it should, and some real problematic changes in the body occur.
The brain actually begins to decrease in both size and weight😳. Ultimately this affects both cognition and memory. The basal ganglia and the pre frontal cortex are especially affected by these changes. The basal ganglia is involved in the processing of information related to emotions, motivations, and movement, while the pre frontal cortex is responsible for “executive decision making”..... The ability to differentiate between conflicting thoughts, identifying good from bad, predictions of outcomes, expectations based on actions, and the ability to suppress urges. This area of the brain dictates our personality, goals and values. As you might imagine, over time, chronic stress plays a very real role in brain disorders like Alzheimers, Parkinsons, and dystonia.
Unmitigated chronic stress affects the immune system by activating low grade inflammation🔥 throughout the body. It may take years to develop, but strong evidence suggests that low grade inflammation eventually triggers dis-eases such as rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, colitis, IBS, psoriasis, fibromyalgia, lupus, MS, diabetes, cancer, and other autoimmune disorders.
Additionally, this stress affects the production of blood cells needed to effectively fight off illnesses.
Chronic stress also alters the activity of:
🔥The hypothalamus (libido, behavior, emotions, body temperature, weight, and sleep/wake cycle.
🔥The pituitary (which largely controls both the adrenals and thyroid)
🔥The adrenal glands (produce hormones that help regulate your metabolism, immune system, blood pressure, and how we respond to stress). Even a minimal amount of stress can activate the adrenal glands.
🔥Growth hormones (can be halted during severe stress)
Additionally, chronic stress can lead to malignancies, genetic instability (epigenetics… the role our environment plays in gene expression), and tumor growth by effectively decreasing the activity of the normal systems within the body that keeps aberrant (cancer) cells from growing.
Digestive disorders are also a common physical symptom of chronic stress, including changes in motility, increased intestinal permeability,and inflammation in the form of Crohns, ulcerative colitis, and IBS.
Chronic stress is no joke when it comes to its impact on health, and not a single person is immune to the effects of it. This is why it is incredibly important to have a plan of action to care for yourself and encourage others to do the same.
We are all built incredibly differently, and stress will ultimately expose the unique weakness that is within each one of us. This is why it is so very important that we know and understand our bodies well, so that we can support it in the manner that best serves us.
Sleep😴 is our body’s only true time of repair and recovery. If you are not getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night, make that a priority. If quality sleep is not happening, work on sleep hygiene and habits to improve your zzzzzz’s.
👉Stop screen time well before bed and keep electronics out of the bedroom (pineal gland disruption).
👉Get 10-20 minutes of full sunlight during the day.
👉Keep sleeping temperature at less than 70 degrees F.
👉Take an epsom salt bath before bed…. Add in Lavender, Frankincense, Peace and Calming, Cedarwood or Sandalwood to the salts.
👉Consider diffusing with any of the calming oils!
👉Exercise earlier in the day, and consider restorative yoga or meditation before bed.
👉Avoid artificial sweeteners (they can cause insomnia!)
👉Support a healthy night’s sleep with either YL’s Immupro chewable tablets or Sleep Essence capsules.
Next week I will cover some strategies for coping with chronic stress.
Postpartum depression. It affects 10-15% of women post pregnancy, and often begins a merrygoround of medication use that is hard get off. Take a few minutes to read this gal's story. She is not alone.
Several years ago at the pharmacy, I began asking women who were getting new prescriptions for antidepressants or antianxiety medications if they had received labwork prior to being handed a first time antidepressant or antianxiety prescription by their doctor. Remarkably, 95% or more had not.
This issue isn't always about low progesterone (read the story) . It could be an unresolved thyroid issue, a low Vitamin D level, or many other possibilities fairly easily spotted by doing proper labwork analysis. Sadly, insurance often won't pay for this, and many doctors who work for a medical conglomerate healthcare system won't order the needed labs because it falls outside of the approved diagnostic protocols set by upper management or insurance companies.
Save yourself some time and grief and get the labs necessary by paying out of pocket. It can be done easily in most states. This is one of the services I offer in my health coaching calls. It just might change your life. 😘
Polypharmacy is an enormous health crisis throughout our country. It's one of the many reasons I do what I do .... the education....the leading people thru the process of learning to care for themselves by reading their own bodies and understanding the holistic options available to them.... the empowerment of personal care ownership🙌❤!
This story.... it started with eye drops. It's not an isolated incident. This kind of story happens every single day very innocently. I've watched it happen to patients throughout my pharmacy career.
There is a time and a place for Western medicine, but it behooves a person to enter into Western medicine treatment with eyes wide open, well armed with research, an advocate or two, and a willingness to look into all types of care options.
The average American adult is currently on 4 or more prescription medications 💊..... not including over the counter (OTC) remedies.
It can be a slippery slope and it's not the consumer's fault.... other than placing too much trust in a profit driven system.
This is why I do what I do.
Defy the system.
Don't be normal or average. You are worth more than that.
God created you to use your gifts and talents in unique and beautiful ways.... not too medicated to even think clearly.
If you'd like help navigating what living like "normal" should look like, click above for a consult.
What’s your lack of poo 💩 telling you? Colon Part II
There’s no time like the present to start talking about poo, or in this chat…. lack thereof! Chronic constipation affects roughly 28% of the North American population if we abide by the western medicine general rule that it’s “okay” to have only 3 bowel movements a week. (No wonder we have so many chronic illnesses based on this information alone!😱)
Let’s flush that “3 times a week okay-ness”, and look at how an optimally healthy colon should be functioning.
Healthy gastrointestinal transit time should run somewhere between 12 and 24 hours…... optimally, 1💩 to 3💩💩💩 bowel movements a day help keep the toxin load of a body in check. What happens when the body’s toxin load grows due to lack of appropriate time on the throne? Sickness and dysfunction begin rearing their ugly heads in a variety of ways:
1. Weight gain - toxins stored in fat and it becomes increasingly difficult to lose weight.
2. Fatigue - metabolism is disrupted (yet another avenue of weight gain too!)
3. Skin irritation and rashes occur - we expel toxins thru poop, pee, breathing, and thru our skin. When pooping isn’t happening as it should, other organs often can’t keep up with the detox process either!
4. Headaches and migraines
5. Mood Swings
6. Joint and muscle pains and spasms
8. Increased or excessive sweating (the body is trying hard to shed the excess toxins!)
9. Constipation breeds an increased toxin load which leads to even more constipation!
Per statistics found on the National Institute of Health’s website, chronic constipation (THEIR version…. 3x/week pooping) accounts for over 5 million healthcare visits or hospitalizations per year, and over 5.3 million prescriptions written singularly for constipation.
These are large numbers☝️☝️, but imagine how much larger those numbers would be if they were to include not pooping daily and the subsequent results….(numbers 1 thru 8 above).
Constipation is a clue, and it’s also largely fixable with lifestyle changes. Oftentimes, if you fix constipation, other health concerns will also begin to quietly fix themselves! 😉
Low fiber eating habits (ie: processed foods), lack of gut microorganism balance (YL’s Life 9 is KEY here), lack of exercise, dehydration, certain medications (Opiates, some antidepressants, calcium channel blockers used to treat blood pressure and heart disease, medications used to treat Parkinson’s, Iron supplements, NSAIDS, diuretics, antihistamines are all known to cause constipation), a magnesium deficiency, hormonal fluctuations, hypothyroidism, SIBO (refer to earlier discussion) and even colon cancer are common contributors to constipation.
For most people, eating more whole fresh foods, exercising regularly, drinking plenty of quality water, and including a top notch probiotic food or supplement source (Did I mention Life 9 or MightyPro for the kiddos?) along with digestive enzymes (Essentialzyme, Essentialzymes-4, Detoxzyme, Allerzyme, or Mightyzyme for kiddos) will often solve the constipation conundrum.
For those who still need a little extra boost to get you on that throne consistently, consider adding in Young Living’s ICP (that acronym has been affectionately known to stand for “I see poop” amongst those who use it). #useittoloseit ICP is a powder (loaded with soluble fiber and other goodness) that is added to juice or smoothies, making it an easy addition to daily routine.
If constipation is something that plagues you, and you’ve tried #allthethings, it may be time to investigate possible food sensitivities, leaky gut syndrome, or severe gut dysbiosis (unbalanced gut bacteria) with the help of a health professional who is experienced working with patients in this demographic.
🎶🎶 Sleeeeep in heavenly peace......🎶 🎶
Roughly 1/3 of the US population has at least occasional problems either falling asleep or staying asleep, and over time, sleeplessness will become a tremendous health problem if not addressed properly. (emphasis on the properly!)
There are more than 2 handfuls of common reasons why people have trouble sleeping (way more than I can cover here today).
What's concerning are the number of people who ultimately turn to prescription medication to help get a "good night's " sleep. We have been conditioned to believe that if a doctor writes a prescription, the benefits surely outweigh the risks. While this is sometimes true, it's not always the case. "Sleeping pills" are what we call 'fast movers' in pharmacy.... ie: they are a popular item.
Not so fast.... let's take a look at a few lesser known truths about some common (Ambien, Klonopin, Lunesta, Restoril, Xanax, Sonata) prescription sleep aids:
😴None of these are approved by the FDA for long term use, yet people are on them for years.
The sleep achieved using any of these is not natural, refreshing, or restorative. The sleep you get is an artificial sleep and your body recognizes the difference. Our body does its repairing and recovering during "natural sleep", and that doesn't happen to any appreciable degree when using the above medications. (In addition, by their very definition, they are an additional toxin the body must now work extra hard to clean out.)
😴All of the above prescription meds also block the body from being able to produce melatonin (the very hormone that helps us sleep). This is one of the reasons this group of prescription medications become addictive.... because your body produces less and less melatonin the longer you are on them.
😴Melatonin "deficiency" is a bigger problem than just not being able to sleep without a pill.... normal melatonin levels are necessary for immune function, having energy throughout the day, having healthy breast tissue, effective brain function, supports healthy cardiovascular function, improved GUT (yes!) health, eye health, and pancreas function (Just to name a few! 😍)
😴Additionally, several of these prescription sleep aids also deplete a body's stores of Calcium and Vitamin D over time (which will ultimately affect your bones and about 400 other necessary functions in the body) 😬
I am thankful that we have natural choices instead of that which is advertised as 'simple' solutions in nearly every form of mainstream media you see.
My favorite Young Living products that help me have a restful restorative night's sleep are RutaVala (on the base of the big toe and in the belly button! and Immupro .... it's back 🙌). I also love Frankincense and Peace & Calming!)
What's your "go to" for a good night's sleep?
www.goodmedicine.info (if you'd like to walk on the natural side of sleep and also get some personalized education perks, let's chat! )
All the sleep in the world won't matter if you aren't caring for your spirit and connecting with our God. Peace that passes all understanding is a hot commodity, especially in November 2020. God's got this and I rest 100% while He manages the details.
Have a blessed and restful weekend friends!
Start 'em off right my friends! I absolutely love that Young Living now has a starter kit just for kiddos!
Do you know anyone who needs help with their kid’s sleeping, 😴emotions, focus, owies and all the things?
* And who can say no to Feather the owl diffuser? #cutest
Have you gotten the all new Little Oilers Collection Kit? Our littles NEED all the help they can get to be healthy and keep a low toxin load. (This is one way to eliminate many common toxins kiddos are often exposed to!). The prediluted bottle with the rollers make it safe to apply anytime!
And FREE shipping with either order since they are both over 100PV.
Which oil will be your favorite ?
This kit will be a game changer in so many homes.... it could be in yours too😘.
www.goodmedicine.info 👈 this is where you're going to want to go to get the good stuff for your kiddos (and for yourself too!)
If you are just diving in now... here are the links to catch up:
* POWER TO HEAL PART I (why modern medicine alone isn't the answer)
* POWER TO HEAL PART II ( a history lesson - how did we forget how to heal?)
* POWER TO HEAL PART III (The power of the mind in healing ourselves)
* POWER TO HEAL PART IV (We have the tools!)
The Power to Heal Ourselves -
I've been praying for you! Our bodies are so incredibly amazing, aren't they???...... especially when they have the right ingredients to create a recipe for healthy success!
I hear some of you tho.... it may seem so overwhelming to #doallthethings. It was for me too 🙋♀️when I first began realizing I had the personal power to heal on my own 20 years ago.
Remember a few key things:
1. Is your garbage pail full? Stop putting garbage in!!! (evidence of that is nearly all chronic diseases, skin disorders, emotional disorders, etc)..... you've GOT to quit adding toxins to your "household" (ie: body) if you truly want to kickstart the healing process.
2. Start taking the garbage out. This means you are working towards gently detoxing your body. There are many ways to do this, and each way does not serve an person in the same manner. ( 👉 See Step #8!)
3. Sleep. Absolutely crucial that you get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. If you have problems achieving that #.... message me.
4. Exercise. You CAN do this.... there is an exercise program for every single situation. No excuses.
5. Hydration.... by this I mean water. Clean, pure water and lots of it.
6. Mind work.... If you find "taking out the toxins" hard to think about, perhaps focus on the reason why. You are a person of value and worth.💗 Toxins create personal limitations and it is life limiting to allow them to dictate your life and limit your potential! #thisis100percenttrue Loving ourselves enough to treat ourselves with kindness and respect (not in a spirit of enablement) is a HUGE part of self healing both physically and emotionally.
7. Thorough labwork. This is an important piece that often gets overlooked.
8. Find a guide... a scout.... someone who has walked the walk and knows the path well. So much can be done inside the walls of our own homes and thru ZOOM if meeting in person is logistically hard. 💗
If the power of healing yourself is something you are ready to embrace, give yourself a high five and a virtual hug!
I am here and I am devoted to helping people learn how to do this successfully and would be honored to help you blaze your new trail! 😘 Let's chat!
Winter Rest... Part II.
(Apologies for taking so long to get part II of my adrenal reset post out.... I've been taking my own advice and have been in Hawaii on a much needed business / vacation / relaxation time! 😉) #ThanksYL
Since you've slept a few moons since I posted Part I, here's the link to refer back to if needed:
I wrapped up talking about living a fear based lifestyle and how hard that is on the kidneys and adrenals. Fear can creep in to our life in insidious ways..... ways that we typically don't even recognize as a fear. What may that look like in any of our lives?.... and how can we learn to eliminate it?
🔥Trauma: In my own educational and healing journey, I've learned a great deal about the damaging effects of trauma based emotions. #yowza! It's a fascinating topic and frankly, if more people actually understood it, it would change the trajectory of both their life and their health. Trauma goes beyond the brain teaches our body (at a cellular level) that it must constantly be on guard and vigilant. This keeps us in a constant state of low grade "fight or flight" which I promise will not end well if not addressed. We MUST learn to slowly unwind, release your fear, find balance, and begin to heal.
👉 (If you'd like detailed help, please book a private session)
🔥Expectations: Do you feel like the earth may cease to spin on its axis if you don't meet your own personal expectations or other's expectations of you?
I exaggerated that slightly 😉, but truly.... a lot of stress comes from believing that everyone depends on you. It's lovely to feel needed.... but often, these are personal beliefs we heap onto our own shoulders, and not reality. At least for these winter months..... give it a trial run and step back a little from your own expectations and see if the world doesn't keep on spinning😘. #sayingthisinlovefriends
🔥With expectations comes Responsibility.... Lord have mercy, who doesn't have this?.... fianancial burdens, high stress work environments (don't get me started on that! Pharmacists were #3 in the suicide category for many years😳), family stressors.... the "sandwich generation" who takes care of both their kids AND their parents are particularly vulnerable.
Honestly, there's not always a great way to get out from under true responsibilities, but hopefully the tips below 👇will help decrease the stress / fear load on your adrenals.
Winter Rest is important..... vital really... to health. That said, the following tips can and should be used year round to maintain optimal health:
🌸 Sleep! If your body is calling for it..... do it! During the winter, make an effort to get an extra hour of sleep each night. (If sleep evades you, again.... feel free to private message me for some non drug tips and tricks). Our body does its greatest healing during deep sleep.
🌸Unplug. Next to sleep, I think this is perhaps the most important and simplest way to rest. If you were born before 1990 (just typing this makes me feel kinda old😂), you'll remember that there WAS life without cell phones and internet and we actually survived quite well. In fact.... we were a far healthier bunch of people than we are now as we are literally triggered each time our device dings or vibrates!
🌸 Stay in and don't allow yourself to get caught up in the rat race. Read a book, nap, or allow yourself time outside in nature to get grounded and recharged. Grounding is vital to our balance and well being.
🌸Say No. For some of us, this is a word that is underused to our own detriment. Once I learned to do this.... saying no gracefully, I realized how freeing it was. Life is too short to say yes to everything everyone asks of you. It is a learned skill..... but one you'll find of great value! #metoo
🌸Take a spa day or at least a "spa hour".... even if it's at home. Epsom salt baths with some calming therapeutic grade oils (like they do at the fancy places!) can be easily done at home at a fraction of the price. It will go a long way towards resetting your adrenals and cortisol levels. This isn't selfish time... it's called self care. You can't care for others well if you yourself are not well😘.
🌸Yoga, gentle stretching, and acupuncture or acupressure are all excellent aids for adrenal resets.
🌸Foods that help with adrenal resets: walnuts, cashews, clove, ginger, fish, shellfish, eggs (organic free range is best!), cranberries, blueberries, apples, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, and asparagus
🌸Adaptogenic herbs (plants that support the body's ability to accomodate varying physical and emotional stresses):
🌿Ashwagandha- this is an incredible herb for a variety of reasons, but for the topic at hand... it is very helpful in supporting healthy cortisol levels. Do a little Google search to learn more about this oddly named herb. My two favorite supplements that contain Ashwagandha are called Endogize (typically for women) and Powergize (typically for men).
Not herbal, but Vitamin D3☀️ (levels can drop significantly in the winter... get bloodwork to confirm. If you do not have insurance or a doctor, I can help you get inexpensive labwork done).
Omega 3 Fish oil🐟 ... but be warned.... much of what is available for sale is actually rancid and will only make the situation worse.... so best advice I would give you is to really know your supplement company well.😉
I hope this helps. I believe strongly that God gives us our experiences in life, good and bad, so that we can learn from them in order that we may use our life as a testimony and a map to help others. #payitforward
Looking back, I can see several points in my life where, by pushing myself beyond what the body is able to handle on a chronic stress daily basis , I could have very easily ended up a hot mess healthwise. I hear this phrase all the time.... "I'm not sure what happened. I was fine, and then all of a sudden I had all these health problems". See, here's the deal. The body is masterful at "running from the lion ".... but we can't run forever. And when "the lion" finally catches you....it doesn't just take a nibble.
Hugs and love, Liz
(I'm gonna go have a day on the beach now and continue my reset!☀️)
Today's the day we say goodbye to 2019, and while most are discussing plans to hit 2020 hard and heavy, I'd like to introduce a thought on behalf of your adrenal glands: consider allowing yourself some time this winter season to rest and recover.
YOU KNOW HOW WE POWERED THRU THANKSGIVING AND CHRISTMAS.....ALL THE WHILE SECRETLY WISHING WE COULD JUST CURL UP ON THE COUCH WITH A GOOD BOOK AND READ OURSELVES INTO A BLISSFUL WINTER'S NAP? IF YOU HAVE THAT FEELING, YOU'RE NOT ALONE.... THAT'S YOUR BODY TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING. IT NEEDS TIME TO REST AND RECOVER FROM THE RAT 🐁 RACE! WE ARE NOT DESIGNED TO RUN 24/7/365.
❄️Winter is a time for fallen leaves, hibernation.... an energy reset. That's an inaction not just reserved for nature! Prior to man-made electricity..... it was what we humans did too. We haven't changed ya'll..... allowing ourselves time to be still and quiet (ESPECIALLY in the Winter) will help boost internal health and go a long way towards setting the tone for your health in 2020.
❄️Winter is especially important for an adrenal gland / kidney / bladder reset. (Think water..... in the winter, water tends to slow down to a crawl.... especially if frozen).
Our adrenal glands are the little party hat shaped organ that sit atop the kidneys. They produce the stress hormone cortisol..... an absolutely critical factor in regulating metabolism, and helping us "power thru". Too much tho?..... and trouble begins to brew. The body cannot keep up. Dysregulation occurs, and adrenal fatigue may result.
🔥Common signs of adrenal fatigue: deep, long lasting exhaustion, water retention, weight gain, lack of motivation, depression/anxiety, brain fog, insomnia, feelings of chronic stress.🔥
The emotion of fear is based in the kidneys, and allowing chronic stress into your life will only guarantee a fear based emotional lifestyle. #lovenotfear
Stay tuned.... Part II is to come..... but in the meantime..... that bucket list for 2020?..... consider allowing time for a winter reset so that you don't fizzle and can be all you are meant to be in 2020 with vibrant health! 😘
Hugs and Love xxooxx ~ Liz
Hey there....thanks for stopping by! This is me (Liz James)... an eclectic mixture of holistic (and organic) farmgirl meets pharmacist. It's a synergy that works well as I speak truths and dissect fact from fiction. If you're looking for healthier living options, you've come to the right place!