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Why You Should Work With A Functional Medicine Practitioner

 

When I decided to get off the pill, I struggled a lot.  Even though I was familiar with how the pill worked, I was shocked at how difficult the transition off of birth control was on my overall hormones and health.  I figured that since I did not want to be on synthetic hormones anymore, I could just stop, and my body would be fine.  However, that was not the case.

Instead, my acne got worse, and my period was absent for over eight months.  I also experienced a great deal of weight gain, a side effect of stopping hormonal birth control that I definitely was not expecting.  But most of all, I was not expecting my doctor to tell me to go back on the pill.  I do not know why.  I just thought they would want to help me figure this out.  Not the case.  They did not want to test my hormones or my thyroid, and when they did, it was the same answer: “Go back on the pill, and it will fix all of this.”  I felt...

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Why Does My Thyroid Look Normal But I Have Clear Hypothyroid Symptoms?

 

Do you google your symptoms and get the answer of hypothyroidism?  You then ask your doctor to test your thyroid, and everything comes back "normal."  Frustrating right?  How is it possible to have such evident thyroid dysfunction, but have it appear normal on lab work? The answer is that your body is compensating. Our bodies have a built-in stress response that is meant to protect us and keep us alive.  Stress is not bad. It is when we have too much stress on a system that is already compensating that we begin to see issues.

 

 

How does stress interfere with our metabolism?

In my Stress and Metabolism series, I wrote on the compensation of the body.  I will highlight some of the key points here.   Our bodies try to compensate and make up for these things by releasing our stress hormone, cortisol, which leads to us being in a chronically stressed-out state. When the body is in a stressed state, it does not prioritize hormone production...

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Hormone Health On A Cellular Level

 

Balancing your hormones is a complex topic.  There are so many factors that influence hormone levels.  Hormone health is more than just looking at your estrogen and progesterone levels and trying to balance them out.  Do not get me wrong; they are both essential for hormone health; however, we cannot just focus on lowering estrogen or raising progesterone with supplements or even food.  Our hormones are the last thing to change--everything we do impacts them.  Why is this?  Because optimizing our metabolism is the key to optimizing hormone health.  

When estrogen starts to go up, and progesterone goes down, the body has likely been dealing with other imbalances like a sluggish metabolism/thyroid, stress, and hasn't been able to maintain that homeostasis or balance for some time. That is why it is helpful to not only look at what you have recently been eating/how you have been living but also to think back. What has been going on in the...

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Are Food Sensitivities Stressing You Out?

 

Are you struggling with food sensitivities?  Do you find that you are all of a sudden reacting to foods you love and eat all the time?  I am probably going to surprise you with what I say next.  Food sensitivities are a symptom, not your problem.  Reacting to food is not normal.  It is feedback from your body that something is off.  The information is helpful in that it asks you to dig deeper into digestive health and function.  There are several different possible reasons for food sensitivities.  Keep reading for a more in-depth explanation of the top three reasons for food sensitivities and to find the answers to the commonly asked questions regarding food sensitivities.


 

 

What is the difference between a food sensitivity and a food allergy? 

There is sometimes confusion around whether a person is sensitive to a food or allergic to it.  Food allergies are an immune response to a food that affects multiple organs...

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How Often Should I Eat?

 

There is a lot of controversy around whether you should eat more frequently, only eat three meals and a snack, never snack, or do full-on intermittent fasting. My general recommendation for most people is to eat every 3 to 4 hours. However, I want to emphasize that the number of meals an individual should consume daily is individualized. No two people are the same. Meal frequency depends on the individual. When considering meal frequency, several different factors look at including current hormone health, digestive health, body temperature and pulse, stress level, and appetite.


 

 

How is the state of your current hormone health associated with meal frequency?

Do you currently struggle with PCOS, hypothyroidism, fatigue, irregular periods, painful/heavy periods, brain fog, etc.? These are all signs of hormone imbalances. I find in my work with clients struggling with PCOS or hypothyroidism do better eating more frequently. Why? These women often deal with more...

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Helpful Data Tracking

 

Our bodies are continually communicating with us. From how we sleep, our appetite, energy level, digestion, mood, to our periods and monthly cycles. There is so much information at our fingertips that we could use to guide our nutrition and lifestyle choices. One way to help guide your choices is data tracking. 

 

 

 

What is health data tracking?

Speaking of information at our fingertips, there is pretty much an app for everything these days. Just about every aspect of your life can be tracked using an app on a smart device (cell phone, tablet, computer/laptop, watch). Health data tracking is a collection of and analysis of your health data. The data from health tracking can be used to find patterns and/or oddities in your usual lifestyle. Most individuals are familiar with calorie tracking and fitness tracking, but many other health components can be tracked.  

I often talk with women that have tracked their food before, but when I ask...

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Nutrition Myth Busters: Hormone Health

 

Do you consider yourself up-to-date on the latest nutrition trends? Does the searching for nutrition information leave you looking confused? Trust me; you are not alone. With the worldwide web literally at our fingertips, we have access to an overwhelming amount of information. One source says one thing, while another says something completely different. Our hormones regulate so many of our bodily functions, and caring for them is critical. When it comes to our hormone health, it is extremely important to have the correct information. With that being said, today, I want to bust a few myths concerning the nutritional management of our hormone health.




How can you filter out the incorrect information?

Most of us need to unlearn everything we have been taught about nutrition for hormone health. Because there is a ton of conflicting information out there, this can be hard to do. I like to use a filter to process different ideas. So, forget everything you know (or think you know)...

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The Many Benefits of Red Light Therapy

 

In my most recent blog post, I discussed the effects of blue light exposure. I even mentioned how red light therapy could reduce blue light exposure. Today, I will enlighten you on other benefits of red light therapy. I talk about using red light therapy quite a bit in my Instagram stories since I have red lights in my bedroom (see obsession of the week). I also have invested in a larger red light that hangs in our tiny house, and there is a good reason for this. Red light therapy is an FDA approved treatment for acne, muscle and joint pain, arthritis, compromised blood circulation, and reversing hair loss. Let us dig into the specifics on red lighting and how it impacts the body.



What is red light therapy?

We need a balance of the light we are exposed to. Think about the sun and our daily light exposure. The sunrise has several different colors of light--many of them being red/orange. Then during the day, it is, for the most part, bright light (this is blue light). The...

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Blue Light Exposure

 

Whether or not you struggle with sleep, your exposure to blue light matters. Blue light is beneficial during the day. It wakes us up during daylight hours, keeps us alert, gives us energy, boosts mood, etc. Once the sun goes down, though, many of us continue exposure to blue light with lights in our home and screens. Blue light can throw off your biological clock, AKA, your circadian rhythm, which has a huge impact on hormone health.   




What is blue light?

Lighting varies in wavelength and intensity. Blue light comes from blue wavelengths and is considered artificial lighting. Blue lights are the energy-efficient LED lights and those emitted from electronic devices' screens. Pretty much all age groups use electronic devices. When I say every age group, I mean just that--toddlers watching videos on tablets, teens on their cell phones, adults working office jobs, and the elderly watching television. All across the world, individuals are subjected to blue light...

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Minerals Part-2: Power Punchers

 

In my most recent blog, Minerals Part-1: Mechanics, I introduced the first level of minerals: calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. I detailed how each of these minerals plays a role in your body and why they are essential to your health. If you missed it, be sure to check it out. In this post, part-2 of the series, I will focus on how some of our most essential minerals interact with each other.




What effects do minerals have on our nervous system?

I’m starting with the nervous system because it has such a significant impact on our hormones. Typically, you hear me talking about the nervous system as it relates to stress. When the body is in the sympathetic nervous system (AKA stressed-out state), the body loses calcium and magnesium. I mentioned the importance of both of these in part-1 of this series. Phosphorus typically increases and can lead to difficulty sleeping and anxiety if we are in this state for too long. When the body is in the parasympathetic or...

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