This Is Your Brain on Vitamin C

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Vitamin C is well known for enhancing immunity, including preventing colds and improving mental health. Scientific studies indicate that people who consume foods rich in vitamin C experience less stress as they encounter physical challenges. After we consume vitamin C, it causes the body to dispense neurotransmitters that enhance mood such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. People who lack vitamin C have low synthesis of these neurotransmitters, and can become irritable and stressed.

 

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Vitamin C and Mental Health

A German study measured the stress levels of 120 individuals by letting them perform public speaking while solving math problems. The subjects were given 1000 mg of vitamin C prior to the task. Participants who did not take the vitamin showed elevated cortisol levels and higher blood pressure. Those who took the vitamin showed normal blood pressure levels and said that they did not feel that stressed.

Vitamin C also plays a vital role in maintaining the function and integrity of the central nervous system, including the formation of myelin and maturation of neurons, which protects nerve fibers and repairs neurons. In addition, it acts as a neuromodulator, which influences mood regulation.

Research studies also indicate that free radical damage and oxidative stress can play a part in the pathogenic mechanisms underlying several neuropsychological disorders including depression.

The American Journal of Psychiatry published a study stating that low levels of vitamin C were closely related to depression in the elderly. Another study published by McGill University found that administering vitamin C twice a day improved the mood of hospital patients. Vitamin C is also linked to promoting health for people suffering from bipolar disorder and anxiety.

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The Brain consumes a lot of vitamin C. Brain concentrations of vitamin C are higher than those of the rest of the body. It maintains vitamin C levels for a longer period of time after the body depletes them. That’s because metabolic furnaces in the neurons churn through glucose to power one’s movements and feelings. Vitamin C also works as an antioxidant. It surrenders electrons for the purpose of neutralizing rogue oxygen molecules which are emitted in the process. These are the free radicals that ruin DNA and cause cells to age.

Vitamin C also plays a role in the maturation and differentiation of neurons and in forming the myelin sheath that expedites impulse transmission and protects neurons. Thus, vitamin C is essential for cognitive performance and is also a cofactor in synthesizing several neurotransmitters. It plays a vital role in converting dopamine to serotonin. It also modulates the release of neurotransmitters in nerve cells. Vitamin C is also found in collagen, which is a stabilizing force for bones, teeth, and blood vessels. It helps ensure that the integrity of blood vessels retain their integrity as an aspect of cognitive capacity, particularly as people age.

In a review of fifty studies of Brain function and vitamin C levels conducted between1980 and 2017, Australian researchers discovered that there was a striking relationship between mental function and vitamin C status. A questionnaire, known as the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) measured the relationship.

In the study, the individuals that were cognitively intact had higher blood concentrations of vitamin C than the individuals who were cognitively impaired. Among the individuals who were cognitively intact, the levels of vitamin C in the blood had a correlation with cognitive ability. There was no linear correlation seen in people with cognitive impairment.

Factors such as exposure to toxins caused by air pollution and smoking as well as drinking alcohol make extra demands for vitamin C by placing the body under oxidative stress. Studies show that conditions like depression, fatigue, and poor healing of wounds happen when vitamin C levels are inadequate.

References

Bundrant, M. vitamin C and Its Key role in mental health. Psych Central. https://blogs.psychcentral.com/nlp/2017/01/vitamin-c- nd-its-key-role-in-mental-health/

Marano, H. The Cognitive Benefits of vitamin C. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/201801/the- cognitive-benefits-vitamin-c

Got Stress? You Need vitamin C. adrenalfatigue.org. https://adrenalfatigue.org/got-stress-you-need-vitamin-c/

Vitamin C: Essential for stress and Adrenal Function. adrenalfatigue.org. https://adrenalfatigue.org/vitamin-c-adrenal-function-stress/

The Link Between Zinc and Mental Health

If you are struggling with low mood or depression, you may have something that can help you hiding in the back of your medicine cabinet: zinc.

What is it?

Zinc supports a number of human bodily functions. In addition to providing support for the immune system, it allows the body to make proteins and DNA, helps heal wounds, and plays a vital role in childhood growth and development. It occurs naturally in a wide range of foods like beans, meat, and fish, and it’s also available in the form of a dietary supplement.

Zinc’s link to Mental Health 

Emerging studies are showing that zinc is also helpful in treating depression and psychosis. There also appears to be a link between zinc dysregulation and attention deficit disorder (ADD), and hyperactivity.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. Depression is associated with a low quality of life and leads to more than one million suicide deaths each year.

Multiple studies have shown that people suffering from depression have reduced levels of zinc in their bodies. Separate studies support the effectiveness of zinc to improve mood in both depressed and healthy people.

How to Add More Zinc to Your Diet

Whether you are feeling low or have been diagnosed with depression, adding zinc to your diet will help boost your mood. Here’s how to incorporate more into your daily life:

  • Take zinc supplements. You can buy these online, at the grocery store, or at your local supplement shop.
  • Meat is an excellent source. Red meat, in particular, contains high levels of zinc, but you can find sufficient amounts in pork, lamb, beef, and other kinds of meat.  A 3.5-ounce serving of raw ground beef contains 4.8 mg of zinc— that’s 44% of the Daily Value (DV).
  • Shellfish are a healthy, low-calorie source. In particular, oysters contain high amounts of zinc. Six medium oysters provide 32 mg of zinc— 291% of the daily value! Other shellfish that are good sources include Alaskan crab, mussels, shrimp, and salmon.
  • Legumes, including chickens, lentils, and beans, contain substantial amounts. But, they also contain phytates— an antinutrient that inhibits the absorption of zinc and other minerals. This means that you should still eat legumes, especially if you are vegetarian or vegan, but just know they don’t provide as much zinc as other sources. You can also heat, sprout, soak, or ferment legume to increase zinc’s bioavailability.
  • Dairy like cheese and milk contain a host of nutrients.. Milk and cheese, in particular contain high amounts of bioavailable zinc— meaning most of the food’s zinc can be absorbed by the body.

Zinc is a key part of a healthy diet, especially for people struggling with depression and low mood. The best part is you can easily add more naturally to your diet by consuming substantial amounts of the above-mentioned foods.

 

 

The Benefits of Vitamin D for Mental Health

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When you think of vitamin D, you likely think of the sun. Does thinking of the warm sun shining on your face make you happy? Well, there’s actually science to back up the significant role that vitamin D plays on our mental health. Let’s explore

What is Vitamin D?

You may have heard vitamin D referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” before. That’s because vitamin D is produced in the skin in response to sunlight. The body naturally produces vitamin D when directly exposed to sunlight, but you can also get it through foods and supplements to ensure you have enough vitamin D.

Vitamin D to Fight Depression

Research shows that vitamin D may play an integral role in regulating mood and fighting depression. One study found that depressed people who received a vitamin D supplement noticed their symptoms improve.

Research points to vitamin D’s role in regulating serotonin and calcium for its possible therapeutic impact on depression when vitamin D levels are boosted.

Vitamin D to Fight Anxiety

A separate study of people with fibromyalgia found that vitamin D deficiency was more common in people experiencing anxiety and depression. Another study of children also found that kids who were vitamin D deficient experiencing significantly higher levels of anxiety and stress than their peers.

Vitamin D and Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a severe mental health condition that causes people to lose touch with reality. This often leads to psychotic symptoms like hallucinations and delusions.

Researchers have discovered that people with schizophrenia are more likely to have significantly lower levels of vitamin D than normal, in addition to being more likely to live in parts of the world with less sun exposure.

A number of studies have also found that insufficient sunlight or vitamin D supplementation as an infant increases the risk of developing schizophrenia later in life.

So, how can you get some more vitamin D in your life to reap the mental health benefits?

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Get outdoors!  Soak up the sun and enjoy the mood-boosting effects.  Just don’t forget the SPF!

 


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Light therapy is a daily treatment that involves a dose of intense artificial light— something more commonly associated with the treatment of seasonal affective disorder, but it has also been proven to be effective for treating other forms of non-seasonal depression such as major depression and bipolar. In fact,  studies show that light therapy has similar effectiveness to pharmaceutical treatments. You can even do light therapy from home with at-home lightboxes

 

vitamin d and mental health, vitamin d deficiency and mental health, lack of vitamin d and mental health, low vitamin d and mental healthVitamin D supplements: You can purchase Vitamin D supplements at your local grocery store or pharmacy. They come in a pill form that you can take every morning to help increase and regulate mood. Ideally your levels should be at 40-60 mg/ml year round.

 

Increase Vitamin D in your diet: Try to incorporate more vitamin D-rich foods into your everyday meals, such as fish oil, milk, egg yolks, mushrooms and vitamin-d fortified foods.

 

 

The Lockdown’s Effect on Mental Health

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Lockdowns, gyms being closed, holidays alone, and being separated from classmates, friends, and family members are just a few of the factors that have made the pandemic extremely hard on mental health. In fact, about 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. have reported symptoms of anxiety or depression during the pandemic.

Let’s take a closer look now at the impact COVID-19 is having on mental health.

Anxiety and Depression During the Lockdown

Before the pandemic had even made it to the United States, it was wreaking havoc on the mental health of people in China. Half a dozen studies with more than 10,000 respondents showed that people experienced worse mental health problems than before the pandemic, including high symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Up to half of the respondents showed serious signs of depression, and 35 percent showed serious anxiety. Studies find that the stress and anxiety fueled by the pandemic also cause poor sleep, creating a vicious cycle. The more we lay awake worrying at night, concerned about the pandemic, the worse our mental health becomes.

Loneliness During the Lockdown

Stay-at-home orders, social distancing, and travel restrictions have left people feeling more isolated than normal. 1 in 7 U.S. adults said they were often or always feeling lonely in April 2020, up more than 25 percent from 2018. However, we also saw a shift to more FaceTime calls and Zoom hangouts, and these things contributed to respondents in a separate study reporting feelings of “remarkable resilience.” So, not only did they not become lonely during the pandemic, but they gained a greater sense of community support.

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Domestic Violence During the Lockdown

Another unfortunate side effect of the pandemic and a major contributor to stress, shame, and anxiety is a spike in domestic violence worldwide. Sixty percent of people who were experiencing domestic violence pre-pandemic report the violence worsened during the pandemic. This is likely caused by increased stress, unemployment, spending more time at home, and shelters being forced to close their doors. The threat of abuse compounds the stress, anxiety, and fear that a lot of victims were already experiencing during the pandemic.

The Mental Health Impacts of COVID-19 are Worse for Disadvantaged Groups

Researchers worldwide set out to discover what else was making people vulnerable to mental health issues during COVID-19. They found that among the risk factors were people with poor health or chronic conditions who have a higher tendency of stress, anxiety, depression, and PTSD.

Researchers also found education and income played a role. The less stable the income and education, studies showed, the more anxiety, depression, and stress experienced.

Vital Self-Care Tools

  • If you can’t physically see loved ones doesn’t mean you have to isolate yourself. Lean on virtual chats with tools like Skype, Zoom, and FaceTime.
  • Physical activity is vital for mental health so make sure to make time for it even if it’s just for a few minutes a day. We can mental health, mental health awareness month, mental health services, mental health quotesnever underestimate the power of physical activity on our mental and emotional well-being.
  • Taking a moment each day for positive reflection will ensure that a part of each day has been dedicated to your well-being.
  • Don’t hesitate to create a support system with friends, family and others who can relate.  Seek out online support groups.
  • Talk to your health care professional who can guide you through these difficult times and give you more resources.
  • Eating a healthy well balanced diet will create a positive environment from inside out.

Effects of Lockdowns on Teen Nutrition

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Covid lockdowns have either been a hit or miss amongst teenagers. Some have taken these lockdowns as an opportunity to self-improve, while others have fallen into poor habits. Many have found themselves binge-eating and snacking frequently due to boredom, oftentimes these snacks are not the healthiest choices either. In addition, the lack of physical activity along with poor eating habits and nutrition will further result in a major increase in diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular pathologies, etc. in the upcoming generation of young adults.

Symptoms of Poor  Teen Nutrition

 

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Poor nutrition alone in teens can result in:

  • Skin problems (acne)
  • Poor bone health
  • Decrease in growth
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Mental health issues
  • Emotional health issues
  • Increased weight
  • Decreased energy

Furthermore, proper nutrition has been proven to help improve mental health and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and overall increase emotional health and energy. Being in lockdown, many teens have been experiencing a range of mental health issues, all of which can be bettered with proper nutrition. In a study conducted in 2013, it was found that teenagers who avoided eating processed foods and sugar while consuming a diet that consisted of a large number of vegetables, fruits, fish and grains had a 25-35% lower risk of developing depression than those who had poor nutritional diets.

How to improve teen nutrition and overall health

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The challenge is not only in the choices that teenagers are making, but also for parents and families to create a healthy food environment and help guide these adolescents to develop the fundamental skills of good eating habits and proper nutrition. Although poor nutrition can cause life-long damage, awareness and action can reverse/avoid many of those damages from carrying on into adulthood. Luckily, there are many ways that teens can improve their nutrition and overall health. Some ways to do so include:

  • Eating three balanced meals everyday with healthy snacks in-between.
  • Increasing the amount of fiber eaten. This is beneficial because fiber is more filling and will lessen the urge to binge eat or snack.
  • Eating more fruits and vegetables.
  • Limiting the consumption of red meat. Chicken and fish are great alternatives to red meat due to the fact that red meat contains more saturated fat.
  • Switching out juices and carbonated drinks for water.
  • Physical activity. It is important for teenagers to get at least 60 minuets of exercise daily. Exercise is essential because it helps with muscle gain, weight control, improve mental health, and reducing the risks of developing health conditions and heart diseases.

Snack Ideas

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To conclude, here are some examples of easy snack switches to help improve your nutrition.

  • Chips -> Kale chips
  • Chips/crackers and dip -> Vegetables and hummus
  • Cookies -> Fruit with nut butter
  • Ice cream -> Frozen Greek yogurt covered fruits
  • Chocolate -> Trail mix with dark chocolate

 

 

 

Light Therapy: Benefits of Vitamin D Lamps

Optimally, everyone should get at least 15 minutes of sun for three days a week to be in good health. Unfortunately, those that do not live near the equator may not have access to that amount of sun throughout the year. And in today’s busy climate, very few have the time to get into the sun enough to meet recommendations.  Light therapy is a great way to get the Vitamin D we need.  You may wonder how the sun is linked to vitamin D so here is a simple explanation. The sun’s UV radiation helps vitamin D precursors in the body to be converted into a usable form.

Why Do We Need Vitamin D?

 

Vitamin D is necessary for strong bones and can combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which includes emotional and physical changes due to change in seasons. Lack of vitamin D may also lead to several complications in the body, including rickets, a reason why you need an alternative source of Vitamin D especially when sun exposure is low. An excellent way to always ensure you get Vitamin D is by using vitamin D lamps.

Vitamin D Lamps for Light Therapy

Vitamin D lamps are sun lamps used for phototherapy. They are fluorescent lamps that produce high-intensity ultraviolet-B (blue) rays. These rays trigger vitamin D production in the body. Here are the benefits of using a Vitamin D lamp:

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  1. Provides you with vitamin D during the winter season, a season when there are less available foods containing vitamin D
  2. Gives you a refreshed morning- Even with no sunrise, you get to experience ‘sun’ for a few hours in the morning.
  3. Boosts vitamin D deficiency as researchers have found that it can significantly increase serum Vitamin D levels even more than when using other supplements.
  4. Great for those who have problems using oral supplements due to side effects such as inflammatory bowel disease and cystic fibrosis.
  5. Improves sleep in people struggling with insomnia. Helps regulate melatonin, allowing the body to control the sleep-wake cycle.
  6. Helps ward off seasonal depression by regulating the serotonin which relays signals to the brain and enhances your mood.
  7. Phototherapy is used to treat people with dementia and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
  8. The vitamin D lamps are adjustable and can be placed in any position. They are also portable hence easy to carry when travelling. This means that you can get your Vitamin D anywhere, anytime.
  9. Helps boost vitamin D facilitating the absorption of calcium in the body, promoting healthy bone growth and reducing the risk of related health conditions such as rickets.
  10. Helps modulate the immune system, regulate gene and cell growth, prevent frequent infections, and promote fast wound healing

Vitamin D Deficiency

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With the following signs and symptoms, you could start phototherapy with guidance from your healthcare practitioner.

• Fatigue and muscle weakness
• Bone and joint pain
• Slow wound healing
• Frequent infections

Tips when using a vitamin D lamp for light therapy

• Position the lamp 2-3 feet away from where you are to allow better concentration and dispersion of the light.
• Start with 30-40 minutes per day. If you don’t see changes, increase to an hour.
• Be consistent with your light therapy to see the above health benefits.

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Bottom line

With a Vitamin D lamp, you can still get the right amount of Vitamin D that your body needs even when there is reduced sun exposure. Get yourself a lamp and say goodbye to insomnia, seasonal depression and other related conditions. Always consult with your health practitioner, especially if you have any underlying health conditions, to know the right Vitamin D lamp to purchase.

Resources

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2008-05-10-0805090323-story.html

https://www.chicagotribune.com/consumer-reviews/sns-bestreviews-health-the-best-light-therapy-lamp-2020-20200813-wdbrnaby6ff2bazsu7mbhsixxm-story.html

https://www.chicagotribune.com/consumer-reviews/sns-bestreviews-health-8-products-that-will-combat-seasonal-affective-disorder-20190108-story.html

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/are-sun-lamps-best-to-improve-your-winter-mood/

 

Arthritis: Natural Remedies

 

Joints do not age the same way that people do. Joints can age due to overuse, also known as wear and tear. In the United States, 23% of all adults—over 54 million people—have arthritis. About 24 million adults are limited in their activities from arthritis, and more than 1 in 4 adults with arthritis report severe joint pain.

 What Does Arthritis Pain Feel Like?

 “Arth” means joint, and “itis’ means inflammation of. It makes perfect sense that arthritis is the inflammation of the joint. It is not a specific type of pain or disease like many might think. The joint swells and is red and hot. When this swelling occurs over a long period of time, pressure is created, which then causes pain. If it is left alone, the joints are damaged and destroyed over time.

 Can Arthritis Happen Suddenly?

Pain and stiffness in and around one or more joints are common symptoms. Depending on the type of arthritis, symptoms can develop suddenly or gradually over time. Symptoms may come and go or persist over time.

 What Are the Early Signs?

Symptoms of can include…

  1. Joint pain, tenderness, and stiffness.
  2. Inflammation in and around the joints.
  3. Restricted movement of the joints.
  4. Warm red skin over the affected joint.
  5. Weakness and muscle wasting.

The Three Most Common Types

  • Osteoarthritis the most common form.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system attacks parts of the body—especially the joints.
  • Psoriatic arthritis affects the skin and joints.

What Can You Do to Naturally Treat Arthritis?

There are numerous approaches to arthritis treatment. It can include:

  1. Chiropractic care,
  2. Diet reduction of foods known to increase inflammation in the body,
  3. Nutritional supplementation,
  4. Acupuncture,
  5. Exercise, and
  6. Weight management.

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Can a Chiropractor Help Prevent Damage with Arthritis?

 Chiropractic care is a great option to manage pain that comes with having arthritis. It is a safe, nonsurgical, natural alternative to pain treatments. Chiropractors are skilled in detecting and correcting misalignments and joint issues with gentle and specialized adjustments.

Chiropractors work with the joints of the spine and extremities. When inflammation is present in the body, certain chemicals are released by the body and it starts to deposit calcium in the joint, causing bone spurs and other problems that cause the joints to break down.

We will be the first to admit that arthritis cannot be cured, even by chiropractic intervention. What we can do is prevent the damage arthritis creates. If a joint is fixated and out of alignment, it is not working the way it should. The stuck or uneven surfaces will begin to grind. This grinding causes inflammation, leading to arthritis, and if left untreated, joint damage results.

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The Crucial Time Frame

If we can allow for proper alignment and function, we will have stopped the process that can cause the arthritis in the first place. Studies show that when a joint is stuck for seven days or longer, it causes microtears in the disc. These tears mean the disc is breaking down and decaying, thereby causing arthritis.

We will make sure your joints are never fixated for more than those crucial seven days, preventing deterioration. We suggest arthritis patients see us regularly, and we will make your personalized recommendations for care after thoroughly assessing your case.

Top Supplements to Help Treat the Pain

  1. Curcumin (from turmeric root) Evidence suggests the turmeric root has anti-inflammatory properties. …
  2. Vitamin D. If you have arthritis pain or are at high risk for arthritis, your nutritionist may recommend a vitamin D supplement. …
  3. Omega-3 fatty acids. …
  4. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.

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 In the Kitchen with Arthritis:

 Foods that are known to cause inflammation are best to be avoided, some include …

  • Processed foods. Avoid processed foods, such as baked goods and prepackaged meals and snacks.
  • Omega-6 fatty acids.
  • Sugar and certain sugar alternatives.
  • Red meat and fried foods.
  • Refined carbohydrates.
  • Cheese and high-fat dairy.
  • Alcohol.

 

Fibromyalgia Pain: Combat the Cold

Fibromyalgia pain

Fibromyalgia-what is it?

Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by widespread musculoskeletal (muscle and bone) pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. It can have a complex collection of symptoms that can include muscle, tendon, and ligament pain; fatigue; multiple tender points; and depression. Cold weather can make these symptoms worse and it can be felt deep in the bones, tightening the joints and cause a feeling of achiness.

Why is Fibromyalgia pain worse in winter?

While winter is a season that brings balance to all living things and prepares the earth for creatures to enjoy when spring arrives, it’s not the case for everyone. For some, winter means more difficulties, aggravated pains, mood disorders, cognitive dysfunction (fibro fog), and stress. The flare-ups in symptoms are widely associated with cold, damp days and a drop in barometric pressure. So, how and why does cold weather aggravate pain for people with fibromyalgia?

 

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When a patient gets chilled, it can be extremely hard to warm back up. The cold seems to penetrate bones and cause muscles to contract; therefore, triggering chronic pain. According to medical science, a potential reason for aggravated pain and fatigue is abnormally high numbers of hypersensitive sensory nerves in the nervous system. The hypersensitized central nervous system for people dealing with fibromyalgia pain misinterprets cold as a pain signal. This misinterpretation tends to increase the pain and provoke other symptoms like fatigue, forgetfulness, decreased concentration, and sleep disturbances. Even with these claims, scientists are yet to find a viable and robust association between cold weather and pain in fibromyalgia.

Despite some researchers claiming there is no direct link between cold weather and fibromyalgia symptoms, most patients tend to experience the worst during colder months. Health professionals claim that the worsening of fibro symptoms is likely due to the fact that people tend to be less active during the winter. Lack of exercise can result in physical de-conditioning, translating to intense pain and fatigue.

According to Dr. Robert Bennett, worsening fibro symptoms can also be triggered by other pre-existing conditions. He identifies the conditions as co-morbid and co-existing conditions.

  • Co-morbid conditions: These are unconventional co-existing disorders that tend to occur often alongside other medical conditions; therefore, making the situation worse.
  • Co-existing conditions: These are medical conditions that co-occur in a patient without any significant co-morbidity relevance. Primarily, co-existing conditions weaken the immune system making other disorders seem more prevalent.

Dr. Robert suggests that patients should keep an eye on other disorders when diagnosing and treating fibromyalgia. Some co-existing and co-morbid conditions also tend to be affected by cold weather, making the situation severe.

Fibromyalgia often co-exists with other conditions, such as:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Migraine and other types of headaches
  • Interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome
  • Temporomandibular joint disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Postural tachycardia syndrome

How can you combat the symptoms during winter?

Fibromyalgia patients need to improvise ways to stay warm and welcome anything to help keep the chronic pain and other fibro symptoms at bay. The good news is there are ways to weather the symptoms during the cold season!

 

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As scientists continue to study the disorder, people with fibromyalgia need to bundle up and avoid the winter chill. Here are some other tips to explore to get through the winter season:

  • Get quality sleep: remove any of your electronic devices from your bedroom, try to got to bed at the same time every night, don’t eat a heavy meal or drink alcohol before bed and avoid exercise right before bed.
  • Reduce stress: try yoga or meditation, don’t try to take on more than you can handle.
  • Eat healthy: certain foods can trigger symptoms so try to track those foods and cut them out of your diet. Common triggers can be sugar, gluten and dairy.  Supplementing with Vitamin D is also beneficial.
  • Light therapy: reduced daylight in winter can trigger depression which is often associated with Fibromyalgia.  Re-creating sunshine with a light box can help.

 

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  • Find support: there are many resources that can offer help.  Local support groups and online communities can be a great way to get the emotional support you need.

 

 

CBD For Fibromyalgia Relief

CBD For Fibromyalgia Relief

Approximately 6% of the world’s population suffers from Fibromyalgia. Although there is no said “cure”, all hope is not lost. In fact, there are a variety of treatments and techniques currently being researched to help manage fibro symptoms and pain. Gaining in popularity is CBD oil for Fibromyalgia relief, here’s why.

what is fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia – What is It?

Fibromyalgia is considered a chronic condition. It’s main symptom includes widespread musculoskeletal pain which is usually accompanied by:

  • Fatigue
  • Memory problems
  • Migraines
  • Insomnia

Those who suffer from this condition often have amplified sensitivity to pain. Some researchers believe it’s the result of an abnormality within the central nervous system affecting pain signals.

what is cbd oil

What Is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of more than 120 cannabinoids that are extracted from the cannabis plant. This type of cannabinoid contains only a tiny amount of THC. As such, cannot result in a euphoric ‘high’ commonly experienced with using cannabis.

CBD is capable of interacting with receptors found in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a molecular signaling system that is responsible for enhancing wellness through the regulation of biological systems.

The ECS is associated with the regulation of a variety of physiological and cognitive processes such as:

  • Memory
  • Mood
  • Appetite
  • Inflammation

It’s easy to see why Fibromyalgia patients are so interested in learning more about the benefits of CBD.

Is Cannabis Effective for Fibromyalgia? Dr. Michele Ross

CBD Oil For Fibromyalgia

First, let’s be clear. CBD does not deal with fibromyalgia directly. Rather, it works by targeting multiple pain receptors that are located in the peripheral and central nervous system (CNS). In fibromyalgia patients, this pathway is usually distorted resulting in the amplification of pain.

Therefore, to understand how CBD helps in managing pain associated with fibromyalgia, it’s important to know how the human body perceives pain. When you experience sensory damage such as a cut or  burns for example, the peripheral sensory neurons (nociceptors) inform the brain. This in turn responds by making you feel pain.

How It Works

Cannabidiol works to reduce the pain. It does this by interfering with the action of serotonin receptors. These receptors usually influence pain as a result of the spinal processing of nociceptive information.

In addition, the activation of CB2 receptors in skin cells also contribute to the reduction of pain, inhibiting the reception of pain signals from nociception information.

Alternatively, your body produces an endogenous cannabinoid referred to as anandamide. This is responsible for suppressing pain initiation. However, there lies a problem. This cannabinoid is usually eliminated fast from the body by the enzyme known as ‘fatty acid amide hydrolase’ (FAAH).

This is where CBD comes in.  It eliminates this problem by inhibiting FAAH resulting in a slower rate of anandamide decomposition. The effect of this is further suppression of pain, giving relief to fibromyalgia patients.

What Does Cannabis Do? The Endocannabinoid System

Is CBD Really Effective For Fibromyalgia Pain?

CBD has been shown to make chronic pain associated with fibromyalgia more manageable. It does so by interacting directly or indirectly with pain receptors found in various sections of the body.

Cannabidiol also has the ability to influence the levels of serotonin and anandamide. It can also affect opioid receptors. All of which contribute to the reduction of pain.

As such, CBD is considerably effective in the management of pain resulting from fibromyalgia.  in fact, countless patients that have used CBD to treat fibromyalgia have experienced positive results.

Even though the compound does not treat fibromyalgia completely, it does a great job as far as reducing pain is concerned. Greater understanding is needed as to why CBD works better for some patients compared to others in terms of managing the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

cbd research

CBD For Fibromyalgia Research

Although CBD has been said to be effective in relieving fibromyalgia symptoms, it’s not exactly clear why it’s able to reduce fibromyalgia symptoms.

Additionally, there is also some confusion as to why the compound works so well in some people but not others. Nonetheless, research on this topic is still ongoing, and therefore, we can expect more conclusive information as time goes on.

Side Effects Of CBD For Fibromyalgia

Side effects of using CBD are rare however can include:

  • Changes in the liver enzymes that process drugs
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Mood alterations
  • Becoming lightheaded
  • Sleepiness

These side effects are considerably rare. In fact, CBD is considered to have more positive side effects then negative. Especially when compared to ones experienced using prescription drugs. In addition, CBD is not addictive since it does not contain the compound that is responsible for the ‘high’ feeling.

how to take cbd

CBD For Fibromyalgia Treatment Options

There is an ever-growing market for CBD, and a large variety of options when it comes to getting CBD into the body in order to suit almost everyone.  The most common include:

  • Tinctures

    This option is easy, effective and ideal for patients who want a precise dosage. It involves placing oil drops under the tongue using a dropper, for fast absorption into the circulatory system.

  • Smoking Or Vaping

    Smoking CBD involves the flower of the cannabis plant or oil being burned to produce smoke. Vaping involves heating the oil to produce vapor which is then introduced into the body via one’s lungs. These two are the best options for those who are seeking immediate relief as the effects are usually rapid. However, vaping is considered to be the better of the two options as it lacks toxins that are created during combustion.

  • Topicals

    This option is the best for persons with skin conditions, joint aches, and muscular pains. It involves the use of balms, salves, and creams that contain normal skin ingredients that are infused with CBD oil. Topicals are usually applied to a site of infection or pain, to act specifically on that spot.

  • Gelcaps/Capsules

    This is the best option for those who are after accurate dosing. The capsules are available in different strengths. There is also a capsule option for vegetarians.

  • Edibles

    It’s also possible to consume CBD through edibles such as chocolates, delicious cake, gummy bears, and more. This option is best suited to those who feel that the taste of cannabidiol is too strong for them.

  • Intranasal

    A special spray bottle is used for breathing CBD oil into the nose. The thin mucosa then absorbs the oil, resulting in fast action.

  • Oromucosal

    For this method, the CBD is sprayed into the mouth and gums, allowing for quick absorption into the circulatory system.

Final Thoughts

Although anecdotal evidence from patients has shown that CBD can be used to manage fibromyalgia successfully, more conclusive research is needed. However it’s clear that CBD is considerably effective in helping to manage the pain associated with fibromyalgia.

Now, before using CBD for your fibromyalgia symptoms, be sure to talk to your physician for medical advice. Take time to research the differences in CBD products before purchasing. Also, start small and slow. You can always gradually work your way up to find the dosage that works best for you.

True Health – Why Most Of Us Get It Wrong

true health

I want to start this article with what could seem like a simple question, what is true health?

Most people living in western culture judge the state of their health based on how they feel and how they look.  It’s this mentality that is actually causing people to develop health problems and chronic pain.

Ask anyone that has survived a heart attack, “How did you feel 10 minutes before having your heart attack?”  Many will tell you that they felt fine, good or even terrific. Yet they were 10 minutes away from having a potentially fatal heart attack!

There’s a great chance this person looks like the ‘average Joe‘, like you or me.  They may have looked good and even felt good. However, they were NOT healthy!  This is why we need to change they way our minds work by asking this important question. What is true health?

Susan Lucci’s Heart Warning for Women: Listen to Your Bodies

Stop Looking And Start Listening!

How many people are walking around your town RIGHT NOW with diabetes or cancer but have no idea?  All because they still look and feel fine!  Conversely, just because you are experiencing symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t heal!

Remember we said, “symptoms can be a blessing”.  It’s actually your body doing a good thing (I know, bear with us!) letting you know there is a problem. Furthermore giving you the opportunity to fix it!

Your body giving you a symptom can be an example Of your body actually performing a proper function, so listen to your body!

how to listen to your body

Body Talk

Have you ever hurt your knee?  The pain can literally prevent you from:

  • Running
  • Jumping
  • Walking
  • Stairs
  • Crouching, or bending down

Sometimes even taking a few steps feels almost impossible.  However, what the pain is actually preventing you from doing is the things you shouldn’t be doing. Things that could actually make the actual problem worse.

Often, people will take a muscle relaxant, anti-inflammatory, or painkiller to help ease the symptom of the knee pain and allow you to get through your day with more ease.  However, what you are actually doing is fighting the body’s natural self-protection mechanism and overdoing it and making the problem worse.  Click here to learn more about why medications can be dangerous to your health.

definition of good health

The Definition Of Health

True health is not about how you feel or look.  The World Health Organization’s definition of health is when your body is in a state of “complete physical, mental and social well-being”. That’s true health.  Nowhere in their definition does it say being healthy is looking good or feeling fine!  It’s all about function and healing!

Your body is designed to function and heal optimally IF you give it the opportunity to by removing the cause or interference.  Put simply, this means removing or minimizing physical, chemical, emotional stress.

Click here to read more about the Effects Of Stress – Stress Can Be Good For You?!

final thoughts on good health

Final Thoughts

Make the important decision today to stop ignoring the symptoms (and signs!) and start looking for solutions.

It’s like getting a rust spot on your car.  Sure you can throw a little paint on it and make it look ok on the outside. But, eventually that rust will spread and deteriorate to the point where it’s no longer an easy fix.  Don’t treat your body with that same disregard.

Stop taking medication to mask the pain! Instead, start looking for solutions so you body can heal properly and even prevent problems from rising in the first place!

I’ll leave you with these words of wisdom:

“The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”

― Thomas A. Edison

Click here if you want to learn more about how to find the best diet for you.