Thursday, July 15, 2010

Feeling lazy, neurotic or depressed? You may have an adrenal deficiency.

I'm just SO TIRED

I am so depressed!
I never have energy

These three sentences are some of the most common in the healthcare field. In fact, fatigue and depression are a huge contributing factor to the success of the pharmaceutical industry. Not to mention the recent boom of energy drinks on the market.

While many factors can come into  play when discussing these symptoms a large part of the population is actually experiencing adrenal fatigue. In fact up to 90% of the population has some level of adrenal fatigue. So what is this condition and what can you do about it?

What are the adrenal glands?
They are 2 small endocrine glands, the size of a walnut, that sit on top of each kidney.

What do the Adrenal Glands do?
They are the “stress handling” glands.  They produce a variety of hormones that help you handle all types of stress – physical, mental or emotional.  They seek to keep your body functioning in a dynamic balance (homeostasis) amidst whatever external changes or challenges you meet.  They help mobilize you for “fight of flight” in a dangerous situation.

They control:
  1. fluid balance
  2. blood sugar balance in between meals
  3. inflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses to injury or invasion
  4. immune system response and strength
They produce the steroid hormones which:
  1. are the vitality hormones that determine overall strength, energy and stamina
  2. provide a sense of well-being and maintain healthy mood and emotion
  3. are on the backup system for sex hormones, and so are vital for everything from healthy pregnancy to healthy menopause, potency and fertility
  4. when functioning in healthy levels and proportions, provide protection against all forms of dis-ease.
 How well you live depends to a large degree upon how well your adrenal glands function!

Adrenal Fatigue
1.        Adrenal Fatigue is not recognized by conventional medicine.  Only the extremes of Addison’s disease or Cushing’s disease are recognized.
2.        Probably 90% of the population is in some degree of adrenal stress or fatigue.
3.        Weak adrenal function sets the stage for a host of other conditions to appear and progress, including digestive problems, allergies, chronic fatigue, hypothyroidism, immune system weakness, diabetes, degenerative diseases and cancer.
4.        Traditional blood tests are almost always normal even though the patient is clearly not well and presents with a host of signs and symptoms.  These patients have often been told, “There’s nothing wrong, it’s all in your head,” or have been branded as a hypochondriac, lazy, neurotic or a difficult patient.

How do you "fix" adrenal fatigue?
The best thing to do is to contact your trusted acupuncturist, chiropractor or holistic nutritionist to discuss your options. Whole food and herbal supplements are usually used to treat this condition but first you should undergo a simple saliva test to see if you are truly experiencing this condition. If you are in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill-Wake Forest area call Dr. Jennifer Greenfield at Center for Chiropractic &Wellness (919-845-3280) to set up your appointment. She was recently voted best chiropractor in the triangle by the Independent, and she has extensive experience and focus with hormones and nutrition related to adrenal fatigue.
Some supplemental suggestions may include Rhodiola &Ginseng, Rehmannia and Ashwaganda, Cataplex B, or Drenamin. High Grade Licorice is also recommended in many cases. The herbs/whole food supplements prescribed to you should be done by a professional and on a specific case by case basis after that professional has reviewed your test and your chart. Monthly follow-ups should be done to re-assess your dosages for the most effective results.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Yoga labeled as woman's domain: Men are missing out on the benefits!

A world turned upside down—that's yoga for most men because, unlike football, hockey, or baseball yoga is, seemingly, a woman's domain. According to a 2005 Yoga Journal market study, 77 percent of the yoga practitioners in America are female. Legendary teachers like Anusara Yoga founder John Friend and Power Yoga instructor Baron Baptiste believe the numbers might be even higher.

It's not that men don't know they are missing. Nowadays, there seems to be a yoga studio on every corner; Raleigh alone has more than a dozen of quality studios. Men see their wives, girlfriends, and girl-friends strutting yoga fit bods, standing proud and tall, and living a tranquil yet productive lifestyle due to the practice, but most men still refuse to try the discipline.

So why do so many men stay away? A recent   yoga journal article shows that  there are "social, physical, and emotional realities that discourage men from practicing."  It takes a "strong" man and a brave man to tackle the discipline because not only is it socially unacceptable fr a man to hit up a yoga studio for a session of zen and flow, it also forces men to delve deeper into their phsyical and emotional databases that they are used to doing with a game of pickup soccer, for example. Read HERE for a further explanation of these three obstacles and what you can do to overcome them.

As an aspiring Yogi and lover of the discipline, I recommend yoga to all demographics; male or female, indian or latino, young or old...

But why?

Yoga enables presence of mind and body. In today's society we are so bogged down by the future, the next step, the next turn that we forget to see the forest for the trees. Practicing presence, or staying in the moment as many people call it actually enhances productivity and balance. Yoga enables this process to begin for many through the awareness of and importance of breathing and posture, one breaht a

Yoga balances strength with flexibility: Many lifelong athletes have a repertoire of injuries. They may be strong or have a lot of cardio endurance but they neglect to stretch enough. Yoga combines strength and endurance techniques with flexibility all in one package. Preventing injuries is a total plus!

Yoga lubricates  the joints, ligaments and tendons: yoga positions exercise the different tendons and ligaments of the body. it has been found that the body which may have been quite rigid starts experiencing a remarkable flexibility in even those parts which have not been consciously work upon. Why? It is here that the remarkable research behind yoga positions proves its mettle. Seemingly unrelated “non strenuous” yoga positions act upon certain parts of the body in an interrelated manner. When done together, they work in harmony to create a situation where flexibility is attained relatively easily.

Yoga massages the organs: Yoga is perhaps the only form of activity which massages all the internal glands and organs of the body in a thorough manner, including those – such as the prostate - that hardly get externally stimulated during our entire lifetime. Yoga acts in a wholesome manner on the various body parts. This stimulation and massage of the organs in turn benefits us by keeping away disease and providing a forewarning at the first possible instance of a likely onset of disease or disorder.

So get "bendy" men. The benefits far outweigh the social stigma, and your bodies will thank you. Your women friends will probably like it too :)

For a list of Raleigh Yoga Studios please visit this link

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Barbequing safety for 4th of July Holiday

Barbecuing is one of America’s favorite pastimes, especially during Fourth of July weekend. However, it’s hard to believe that this enjoyable and easy meal option can cause food poisoning and even cancer! Dr. Martha Howard M.D. provides the following tips for staying safe during summer grilling:

Safety Hazards:
  • An April 2006 presentation at the American Association for Cancer Research showed that when PhIP, a barbecue/char chemical, was added to rats’ food, they developed cancerous changes in their intestines, spleens and prostates within four weeks.
  • HCAs, hetero-cyclic amines, are also produced when meat is charred. This compound can increase the risk of breast, stomach, colon, and prostate cancer.
  • PAHs, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, are produced by smoking fat from chicken, fish or meat and can damage lung, liver, skin and kidney tissue. 

Tips for Safe Barbecuing:
  • Clean the grill: get rid of the old fats left over from previous meals.
  • Avoid petroleum starters for charcoal: If you use charcoal, use a wood starter and stack your charcoal up in a 2 pound metal can with the ends cut off. Lift off the can with tongs and spread out the coals when they are well started.
  • Proper timing: Avoid a time gap between opening the valve and starting the grill.
  • Wash your hands: Keep your hands clean and use separate plates and cutting boards for raw and cooked meats.  Be sure to wash hands again before putting on long, heat-proof barbecue gloves.
  • Trim meat: Trim most of the fat from meat; less fat means fewer PAHs. 
  • Use marinades: This protects the meat from charring.  Put the marinade on, and refrigerate until use. Don’t let meat sit out.
  • Pre-cooking: Use pre-cooking prior to grilling, especially for items like raw brats. Avoid taking burgers, chicken or other meats directly from the freezer to the grill.
  • Cutting techniques: Cut meat and chicken into smaller pieces so they cook through.
  • Flipping: Turn down the fire, and turn your burgers, steaks, chops, or chicken often, so they cook through, and come out golden brown.
  • Meat thermometer: If you are cooking a thicker portion of meat or chicken, use a meat thermometer. 
      • Chicken:  165 degrees 
      • Hamburger: 160 degrees
      • Pork: 150 degrees
      • Hot dogs: 140 degrees 
      • Steak: 145 degrees for medium rare and 160 degrees for medium.
  • Cleaning up: At the end of the barbecue, be sure to put out your charcoal completely, and if you are using propane, be sure the valve is turned off.