GI Tract Health Guru Discusses #1 Gut Dysfunction

gi tract

Here we will discuss the first of five most common gut dysfunctions that people often face when it comes to the health of their gi tract; digestion and absorption. The full list which I will go into depth with in future articles includes:

  1. Digestion and absorption
  2. Intestinal permeability
  3. Gut microbiota and dysbiosis
  4. Inflammation and immunity
  5. The nervous system

The amount of energy that we harvest from the food we eat is largely determined by the bugs in our gut. It’s important to note that the bugs rely on fibre. Therefore without fibre they will starve. Thus, a diversity of food is needed in order to keep our microbiome healthy in your gi tract. In other words, the wider the variety of foods we eat, the more strains of bacteria we will find in our gut.

Unfortunately, when the gut is not working optimally, a wide array of symptoms can occur. These symptoms include:

  • Gas, cramping and bloating
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Inflammation
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Food Cravings
  • Depression or poor mood
  • Frequent infections
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Insomnia

So, let’s get started and dive into the first issue affecting the health of our gi tract.

1. DIGESTION AND ABSORPTION

First, on a mechanical level improper breakdown of food can happen through:

  • Mastication (chewing)
  • Lack of bile, enzymes and acids

This may be a cause of malabsorption and poor nutrient assimilation. So, as insignificant as this step may sound;

“Chewing your food properly actually plays a vital role in easing the rest of the digestive process.”

Therefore, it is important to avoid eating when in a rush or stressed.  Take time and chew methodically to ensure proper breakdown of food can occur in your gi tract.

Next, adequate levels of stomach acid and enzymes are required for optimal food breakdown. The stomach needs to be acidic to break down protein. Therefore, an optimal pH of 1.5-3 is needed in order to do it’s work and activate pepsin (among other enzymes).

If our stomachs aren’t sufficiently acidic, we can’t digest protein properly. As such, we won’t be able to access many of the minerals in our food and properly trigger vitally important functions during later stages of the digestive process.

The Role Of HCL

The secretion of hydrochloric acid (HCL) is an absolutely essential part of the digestive puzzle. Furthermore, this highly acidic environment is our body’s first line of defense against foodborne pathogens.

As hard as it is to believe with the heavy promotion of antacids and acid-blockers, most people with heartburn often have low acidity (hypo-chlorhydric), not too much acidity (hyper-chlorhydric).

Bottom line, if you have any kind of digestive dysfunction, the level of HCL needs to be addressed or you won’t get anywhere with your gut healing.

Signs You Have Low Stomach Acid (And What That Means) with Dr. Lori Arnold

Signs And Symptoms Of Hypochlorhydria

  • Bloating or belching right after a meal
  • Sense of fullness after eating
  • Feeling like food sits in the stomach
  • Itching around the rectum
  • Weak, peeling or cracked fingernails
  • Acne
  • Undigested food in stool
  • Dilated blood vessels in face (rosacea)
  • Iron deficiency
  • Chronic intestinal infections
  • Food allergies or sensitivities

If some of these symptoms sound familiar, there is a good chance that you are not producing optimal levels of stomach acids.

Causes Of Hypochlorhydria

  • Stress
  • Poor diet
  • Consuming too little calories
  • Usage of PPI medication (proton pump inhibitors)
  • H2 blockers (also called H2 antagonists)
  • Antacids used for acid reflux and ulcers
  • H. Pylori bacterial infection

Antacids have also been shown to inhibit the absorption of many essential nutrients. This can include:

  • Zinc
  • Calcium
  • B12
  • Iron

Intrinsic factor (which is a glycoprotein produced by the stomach cells) is necessary for the absorption of vitamin B12. However, the body can develop antibodies to the intrinsic factor which can lead to the diagnosis of pernicious anemia. So be sure to follow up with a health care practitioner if you are concerned.

Hypochlorhydria Consequences

  • B12 deficiencies
  • Dysbiosis (lack of good gut bacteria)
  • Chronic Candida Infections
  • Mineral deficiencies (like calcium, zinc, manganese)
  • Small Intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Increased risk for asthma, celiac disease, diabetes, eczema, gallbladder disease, osteoporosis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid dysregulation

Do You Have Acid Reflux or GERD?

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

GERD is a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The ring of muscle between the esophagus and stomach, creating a reflux of stomach acids into the esophagus. Also causing a burning sensation.

Did you Know?

20% of adults in the U.S. experience symptoms of heartburn weekly. 60% of the population experience it annually.

Although, it is quite common during pregnancy, in most cases it is related to dietary choices. In fact, studies also show that obesity plays a role in the onset of its symptoms. Therefore, in most cases, GERD can be relieved through diet and lifestyle changes.

Relief Tips For GERD

  1. Avoid wine, chocolate, citrus fruits, tomatoes and peppermint. Also avoid onion, garlic, high fat meals and carbonations.
  2. Eating smaller portions.
  3. Weight loss.
  4. Quit smoking.
  5. Elevate your head in bed.
  6. Sleeping on left side (this can prevent stomach content being pushed into the esophagus).
  7. Not eating 3 hours prior to bed.
  8. Follow a low carb diet.
  9. Supplement with GABA, melatonin and licorice root extract. Also try aloe vera, slippery elm, and zinc-l-carnosine.
pancreatic enzymes

Pancreatic Enzyme Deficiency

The pancreas is most commonly known for its role in blood sugar regulation through its secretion of insulin. But the pancreas also secretes specific enzymes to break down fats, protein and carbohydrates which included:

  1. LIPASE – Lipase works with bile from the liver to break down fat molecules so they can be absorbed and used by the body.
  2. PROTEASE – Proteases break down proteins. They help keep the intestine free of parasites such as bacteria, yeast and protozoa.
  3. AMYLASE – Amylase breaks down carbohydrates (starch) into sugars which are more easily absorbed by the body. This enzyme is also found in saliva.

Causes For Enzyme Deficiencies

  • Stress
  • Toxicity
  • Nutritional insufficiency
  • Damaged gut microvilli
  • Free radical oxidation
  • PH imbalance

This can result in:

  • Indigestion/fullness 2-4 hours after meal
  • Bloating or flatulence 2-4 hours after meal
  • Undigested food in the stool
  • Fatty stool
  • Glucose intolerance
  • Malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies
  • Slow transit time (no your bus is not late, it means the time it takes for your food to go from entrance to exit)
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Increased risk for chronic pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, celiac disease and gastric ulcers. Also, autoimmune conditions, Crohn’s disease, anemia, bone loss and even neurological problems

Today, there are several natural alternatives that stimulate enzyme functions. Therefore, do your research when looking to restore proper enzyme levels before resorting to medication.

Effective Digestive Spices And Herbs Aids

Also, if you decide to take a natural supplement, look for ones that have lipase, protease and amylase. Vegetarian formulas are now available for you gi tract.

bile acids and salts

Bile Acids And Salts In Your GI Tract

Bile is a fluid produced by the liver and concentrated in the gallbladder. It serves to digest lipids in food and increases the absorption of fats and fat- soluble vitamins. Bile salts are made up of sodium salts of different acids manufactured in the liver. These are derived from cholesterol.

Therefore, in order to understand what scientists mean when they refer to bile salts, it is necessary to know a little chemistry.

An Explanation Of Acids, Bases And PH

I know, you thought you were done with biochemistry! But bare with me. When a base encounter an acid, a neutralizing reaction occurs. This reaction produces water and a chemical salt. It is this reaction that produced bile salts in the liver.

When bile salts are secreted into the lumen of the intestine, fecal bacteria and probiotics metabolize:

  • Primary bile acids
  • Cholic acid (CA)
  • Chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA)

Into secondary bile acids:

  • Deoxycholic acid (DCA)
  • Lithocholic (LCA)

Fiber plays an important role in getting rid of harmful toxins, cholesterol and fat as it forms a tight bond with the bile in the intestine. Soluble fibers cannot be absorbed by the intestinal wall, nor can the bile attach to it.

This fiber-bound bile ultimately leaves the body in a bowel movement with its load of toxins, cholesterol and fat in tow. Those who had their gallbladder removed can face bile salt insufficiency. Thus, may benefit from taking a bile salt supplement or a digestive enzyme supplement containing bile salts.

Signs And Symptoms Of Bile Salt Insufficiency

  • Sour or bitter metallic taste in the mouth, especially in the morning.
  • Incomplete digestion and absorption of fats.
  • Chronic diarrhea, which can be caused by obstruction (stones), liver toxicity, gallbladder disease and cholecystokinin (CCK) deficiency. Also, bacterial overgrowth and certain medications can cause this result.

Major risk factors for the development of gallstones are broken down into the 4-F’s:

  1. Fair
  2. Female
  3. Fat
  4. Fertile

Foods And Supplements That Stimulate Bile Production

  • Radishes
  • Dandelion
  • Bitter greens
  • Artichoke
  • Taurine supplement
  • Limonene

What’s Coming Up!

Make sure to stay tuned for my next article on Intestinal permeability. AKA ‘leaky gut‘ syndrome.

Did you know leaky gut can manifest as many different ailments? This makes the diagnosis a challenge for health care practitioners. As such, many doctors don’t seek the root cause of illness but simply treat the symptoms. Learn why you need to take a different approach and what you need to do when searching for a solution.

Alzheimer Society of Canada

Alzheimer Society of Canada

Today you’ll discover the support system provided by the Alzheimer Society of Canada and the Alzheimer’s Association in the United States. You will also learn how important it is to seek Alzheimer’s help, especially if you’re a caregiver for someone suffering with Alzheimer’s.

This is the 5th and final article in a series where you have now discovered:

  • How prevalent the risk of Alzheimer’s is to everyone
  • What a deadly disease it is
  • How completely ineffective medicine is at dealing with it
  • The role of both genetics and epigenetics in both early onset Alzheimer’s and late onset Alzheimer’s
  • The link between Alzheimer’s and aluminum
Alzheimer Canada

Alzheimer Society

In my first 4 articles you’ve discovered just how important it is to take a new and proactive approach when it comes to preventing the nightmare of Alzheimer’s from ever occurring in the first place.

Currently, over 5 million people suffer with Alzheimer’s in the United States who desperately need support that goes well beyond what any doctor or hospital can provide. This is where true angels can be found in the incredible efforts put forth by Alzheimer’s societies, caregivers and support workers.

Alzheimer Society Of Canada

The Alzheimer Society of Canada is located at:

20 Eglinton Avenue West, 16th Floor, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Tel: 416-488-8772 or Toll-free: 1-800-616-8816

Although there are also chapters across Canada in many major cities.

Its functions are many including to:

  1. Represent Alzheimer’s patients and their rights
  2. Provide support groups
  3. Provide education and information
  4. Encourage research and financial donations
  5. Provide support to caregivers and family members

The Alzheimer Society of Canada has gone so far as to have developed the first-ever Canadian Charter of Rights for People with Dementia.

“The landmark Charter is the culmination of over a year’s work by the Society’s Advisory Group of people with dementia, whose members represent different walks of life from across the country. The Charter defines seven explicit rights to empower Canadians living with dementia to self-advocate, while also ensuring that the people and organizations that support them know and protect their rights.”

They have also taken the position that “Canada needs a fully-funded national dementia strategy”.

Support and services for people with dementia and carers: The dementia guide

Alzheimer Association

In the United States it is the Alzheimer Association that plays this same role. One of their goals is to educate the public on the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s. According to them they are:

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  2.  Challenges in planning or solving problems
  3.  Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  4. Confusion with time or place
  5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
  6.  New problems with words in speaking or writing
  7.  Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  8. Decreased or poor judgment
  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
  10. Changes in mood and personality
The Science of Brain Health – The Simple 7 Step Solution to Prevent the Nightmare of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer Help and Alzheimer Caregivers

My book “The Science of Brain Health – The Simple 7 Step Solution to Prevent the Nightmare of Alzheimer’s”, would seem to refer to the nightmare experienced by the person with Alzheimer’s. However, it also applies to the nightmare experienced by the caregiver.

The non-stop daily toll that is both physically and emotionally exhausting for caregivers, often family members, is heart-breaking. It can be 24/7 for 365 days of the year and go on for years. As such, it is essential that caregivers reach out and get support whenever possible. I have seen this personally and tell many of these stories in my book.

Is Alzheimer’s Communicable?

I know what you’re thinking. Alzheimer’s is not caused by a virus or bacteria so of course it’s not communicable. However, I and many other experts would disagree.

Alzheimer’s is not communicable in the sense that you’ll catch it from someone if they sneeze on you; rather, if you’re a caregiver it’s the endless stress, lack of sleep and emotional distress that do in fact play a major role in contributing to many of the 6 major causes of Alzheimer’s.

As such, the health of the caregiver (or any family member) dealing with an Alzheimer’s patient must be a priority in order for the caregiver to prevent Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer Society

What Needs To Change

As you’ve read, I can’t say enough good about the Herculean efforts put forth by these societies and especially caregivers. But here’s what has to change.

Firstly, it’s great that the Alzheimer Society of Canada has taken the position that “Canada needs a fully-funded national dementia strategy” but what strategy?

Will it be the same drug approach that is looking to reduce plaque? Even their most proactive doctors believe that their drugs failed only because they weren’t given to the patient early enough.

Or, will they continue to collect donations that go towards the same failed approach?

Furthermore, will the Alzheimer Society in the United States continue to promote the 10 warning signs that are typically way too late?  As these are not early warning signs; rather, they are indicative of someone who is already likely in stage 3 Alzheimer’s.

Therefore, if we are truly ever going to prevent this dreaded disease, we need to understand what health and prevention really mean and we must take a new approach.

Alzheimer's Disease

So What’s Next?

If you’ve got to this point in my 5 article series, likely you’re:

  1. Concerned about early warning signs that you’re personally experiencing, that a loved one is experiencing (that you may be caring for)
  2. You’re proactive enough to appreciate that you must take action to both optimize brain function and prevent the nightmare of Alzheimer’s from ever occurring in the first place.

We need to understand the true definition of health and prevention and we need a new approach. I invite you to share these articles with your friends and loved ones. Also, I invite you to discover what true health really is and a new approach to preventing Alzheimer’s by reading my book,

“The Science of Brain Health – The Simple 7 Step Solution to Prevent the Nightmare of Alzheimer’s”

Also, for those who wish to work with me, watch my masterclass “Brain Health for Life – The New Science-based Approach to Maintain Razor Sharp Memory, Laser Focused Learning and Prevent Brain Decline without Drugs Even if Your Genetics and Age Say Otherwise”.

Top 5 Brain Exercises To Improve Seniors Health And Happiness

brain exercises for seniors

So, you may be wondering, why are these brain exercises that important? Well, traditionally we work for about 40-45 years of our lives to build up enough wealth so when we’re ready, we can enjoy the sweet bliss of retirement. However, by the time retirement is in full swing many retirees, now seniors are dealing with a host of health problems. Because of this, a large portion of their time is spent visiting different doctors trying to fix their ailments rather than enjoying their fruitful ‘golden years’.

This is why it is more important than ever to encourage seniors, and really anyone you love to stay mentally active. This can help to reduce the chances of developing dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and even depression.

The following list of activities were complied to provide seniors with hobbies or activities that they can do to help their cognitive function abilities. So let’s get to it!  Here is my top 5 brain boosting activities to help maintain and even boost cognitive health.

music therapy

Brain Exercise #1 – Musical Therapy

Musical therapy has been extensively studied in all age groups and has been proven to have a wide range of health benefits which include:

  • Heightened IQ
  • Improved mood
  • Relaxation
  • Energy
  • Increased cognitive function

Listening to music can bring up past memories and be a great form of comfort and enjoyment for seniors.

arts and crafts for seniors

Brain Exercise #2 – Arts And Crafts

Maintaining dexterity and good hand eye coordination should also be an important goal as we age. Therefore consider a variety of arts and crafts which may include:

  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Knitting
  • Crocheting
  • Quilting

You can even suggest partaking in the latest trend of adult colouring.  These are all excellent inexpensive options to help preserve cognitive function. Also, it’s been shown that unleashing your creativity can reduce depression, which can be an issue for isolated seniors.

Click here to explore, Crafts for Seniors: 52 Fun and Simple Ideas That Inspire.

best physical activities for seniors

Brain Exercise #3 – Physical Activity

Remaining physically active allows seniors to be more independent to care for themselves and partake in activities outside of the home. Therefore, encourage activities such as:

These all provide an engaging form of exercise that helps to not only strengthen the body but also maintain posture and agility. Furthermore, regular physical activity has also been linked to a lower risk of cognitive decline.

Now, if mobility is already a concern, chair exercises and stretches can also be incorporated to minimize further loss of mobility.

Chair Exercises for Seniors - Senior Fitness - Exercises for the Elderly

Brain Exercise #4 – Learn A New Language

Learning a new language at any age is incredibility stimulating to the brain. In fact, when we learn a new language it stimulates the brain to multitask and can even improve memory. There have even been studies on using bilingualism as a strategy to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Click here for Oprah’s 11 Best Language Learning Apps for 2020.

brain games for seniors

Brain Exercise #5 – Puzzles And Brain Teasers

Try including brain teasers into your daily routine to help keep your mind sharp. These can include:

Even playing cards is a fantastic way to keep the mind sharp and active. Who new brain exercises could be so much fun!

brain health

Consider This

If you are still in the workforce, prevention during the working years is the key to a happy, healthy retirement.

Now, I understand for many this may be easier said than done! Several jobs are high pressure and high stress which over time negatively impacts our health. But remember, utilizing the brain exercises that were highlighted in this article is excellent for individuals of any age! So give it a try and begin reducing your stress and improving quality of life.

Spring Cleaning For The Mind, Body And Spirit

spring cleaning

Spring is a time for cleaning out the cupboards, drawers, and purging any unneeded items.  Plus, let’s be honest, what else is there to while we all patiently wait for the end of COVID-19?? With that said, it is also a time to take a look at ourselves as our minds, body, and spirit deserve some self ‘spring cleaning‘ as well.

mental health

Spring Cleaning For The Mind

The first step in spring cleaning for the mind is to throw away destructive self-talk. In other words, anything that depletes you of energy and ambition.

Start off by unplugging from negative outlets that bring your energy down. This can include:

  • Social media
  • The nightly news
  • Low energy television shows
  • Movies
  • Toxic relationships

Next, say ‘no’ to activities in your life that feel more like obligations. Don’t do something because you’re afraid to say no.  Instead, attend events that you look forward to going to.

Finally, spring is the perfect time of year to start a new project or activity that will bring joy and excitement to your life.

let's get physical

Let’s Get Physical

The warmer weather finally allows us to get outside and enjoy some much needed fresh air and Vitamin D.

Spring is the perfect time to focus on shedding excess weight that is slowing you down and putting strain on your joints. Visit the local farmers markets and enjoy the fresh produce that we will soon have access to and make refreshing smoothies, salads, and green juices.

By increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, you will naturally encourage your body to eliminate toxins and weight.

Click here to read, Are You Eating Enough Colour?

benefits of dry brushing

Dry Brushing For Detox

Have you ever heard of the technique of dry skin brushing? If not you are not alone however it’s an effective way of stimulating the lymph system to detoxify the body.

How To Dry Brush

Starting at your feet, VERY gently brush your skin in upward or circular motions with a very soft bristle brush. Then, slowly begin to bring your movements up your body, along all surfaces of your skin toward your heart. Next, start at your hands and work up to your shoulders and upper back. Lastly do your chest all the way to your heart.

It feels fantastic and is a great thing to do first thing in the morning to energize your body by getting your blood flowing.

How to Dry Brush | goop

Hydration

Remember to stay well hydrated with spring water and naturally caffeine free teas.  Homemade teas can easily be made by utilizing fresh ingredients including:

Click here to read more about the health benefits of tea.

how to free your mind

Rejuvenating And Renewing Your Spirit

When we aren’t living our true purpose in life, it can be very draining on our spirit. This spring, take some time to meditate on what your true calling is and make movements to align with your calling.

Find forgiveness in your heart for people and situations that have offended you. Focus on feeling gratitude for the little things in your life. Engage in acts of kindness, whether that be for people or animals in your life. Explore new opportunities and experiences, travel, and find new ways to feed your spirit.

Regardless of what type of spring cleaning you are doing, enjoy the longer days and the warmer sun. Be fascinated with all of the miracles of new life that spring gives us.

EMF Radiation And The Potential Dangers To Your Health

EMF Radiation

Is EMF radiation affecting your health and the well-being of your family?? It’s no secret that technology is on the rise, and for many reasons that can be considered a good thing.  However, there is a strong debate surrounding the potential dangers of electromagnetic radiation.  As technology becomes more advanced, in many ways, our lives become easier. But with that, there are potential health risks associated with the increase in electromagnetic fields (EMFs).

Many people are surprised to learn how devices that are meant to make their lives easier can negatively affect them. Many appliances in your home release their own EMF’s that can vary in frequency and intensity of electricity including your:

  • Cell phone
  • Computer
  • Microwave oven
  • Wi-Fi devices
  • TV

Their level of danger is dependent on both the regularity and duration of your exposure to them.

What Is EMF Radiation?

EMF radiation are streams of energy waves that are also produced by some natural sources such as the sun. However, what’s worrying is the fact that EMF radiation from artificial sources, mainly the gadgets in your home, is stronger than the radiation from these natural sources.

Artificial sources of EMF’s alters the body’s own electrical system. As such, this may lead to health issues including heart problems and an increased risk of cancer and leukemia.

what are emf's

What Are The Main Types Of EMF Exposure?

There are two main categories of EMF exposure:
  • Low-level radiation
  • High-level radiation

Low-level radiation also referred to as non-ionizing radiation, comes from devices such as:

  • Power lines
  • Cell phones
  • MRI’s
  • Wi-Fi routers
  • Microwave ovens

High-level radiation, or ionizing radiation, comes from devices such as medical imaging machines, in the form of X-rays. Also the sun since is produces ionizing radiation in the form of ultraviolet rays. It’s important to note that the intensity of EMF exposure increases the closer you are to the EMF source.

Click here to read, What The Neck? Are You Short-Circuiting?

what causes emf radiation

What Are Health Effects Of EMF Radiation?

There has been much debate surrounding the health effects of EMF radiation. At this point, there are a lack of conclusive long-term studies. However, the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) claims that EMFs may be carcinogenic to humans. But research thus far has been unable to provide concrete support of this claim.

However, a recent small scale study showed that there may be an increased risk of leukemia in adults after being continuously exposed to high levels of EMF.

What is certain is that more research is needed to determine the safety of EMF radiation and the potential long term effect it can have on people. Therefore, in the meantime, it is necessary to be as safe as possible and stick to recommended safety guidelines.

what is emf radiation

Wireless Routers

Although great for the convenience, wireless routers can be responsible for doing more than you think. Yes, they allow your home electronics to communicate while eliminating the need for any wiring.  But, in doing so they emit huge amounts of radiation into your home.  Unlike a computer, cell phone and television that frequently get turned off, wireless routers are constantly running.  This means EMFs are flooding your home every minute of every day. Even if you can pick up a wireless signal from a neighbor or local business, know that their EMFs are also seeping into your home.

protection against emf's

How To Stay Safe From EMF Exposure

There are a number of things you can do to increase your protection against EMF exposure including:

  • Limit the number of electronic devices in your home as much as possible
  • Turn off and unplug computers, phones, televisions, microwave and other devices when you are not using them
  • Avoid sleeping with your phone
  • Use earbuds or the speaker function when answering calls
  • Avoid using TVs with Wi-Fi functionality
  • Don’t use your TV for extended periods
  • Avoid staying too close to your TV when it’s operating
  • Reduce the number of times that you have to use your microwave oven
  • Stay far from your microwave when it’s operating
  • Ensure that your microwave is serviced annually to maintain a strong seal
  • Avoid resting your PC on your lap
  • Get a computer pad to block EMF radiation
  • Use a non-wireless router in place of the wireless if possible
  • Unplug your wireless router while you sleep and whenever possible

You’re one step closer!

Attitude Of Gratitude Linked To Achieving True Happiness

Attitude of Gratitude

As the late Dr. Wayne Dyer would say; “it is this attitude of gratitude that is the answer to all unhappiness in life. Focus on the things that are going well in your life, or the things that make you happy in your life, and have immense gratitude for them.”

It’s in the smallest pleasures that you can find the most to be grateful for. Spring is the perfect time of year to develop this overwhelming sense of gratitude for the beauty that begins to surround us. Take some time over this beautiful Easter weekend to focus on the people, things and special things within yourself that you are grateful for.

key to happiness

The Key To Happiness

Maybe it’s colourful sunrise or sunset. Or possibly a budding flower and the sound of birds singing. It could even be the availability of fresh produce or the warmth of the sun’s rays. The list of things to be grateful could go on and on and is going to be different for every individual. 

We are all guilty of having self doubt from time to time. However, in order to achieve true happiness, we must toss aside self doubt and focus on being your own biggest cheerleader. Don’t see an obstacle as a problem, but rather an opportunity to learn and grow.

This is a mindset that anyone can achieve, but it takes dedication to self growth and development. Talking about having an attitude of gratitude is an easy statement or piece of advice to give, but how does someone develop this attitude?

The Science Of Gratitude

How To Develop An Attitude Of Gratitude

Here is a simple action plan to work on developing an attitude of gratitude today!

  1. Dedicate 5-10 minutes every single day to sit quietly and focus on your breath. If you are a person that enjoys to meditate, this time could be spent meditating. However, you find that meditating isn’t for you, just sit quietly while focusing on your breath. Then, list 5 things that you are grateful for in your life.
  2. Start a gratitude journal to write down the things that you are thankful daily. This is often best done right before bed as a means of quieting your mind and focusing on the positives that you experienced in your day. All too often we get trapped by the negative events going on around us. However, it is more beneficial to your health if the last moments before falling asleep are focused on positive things.
  3. Review your gratitude journal regularly. Note what items tend to get repeated in your journal as this can be a good indication of what you value most in life. Then, you can focus on manifesting ways to have more experiences or interactions that you are grateful for.
  4. Detach from the outcome you expect in life. In other words, have faith that the universe is conspiring to make your dreams come true. 
  5. Spread the attitude of gratitude. Share your gratitude with the world by simply allowing the interactions you have with people to be guided by your new sense of gratitude. Also, teach your children how to keep a gratitude journal. Make a habit of talking about what you are thankful for every night before bed.

Click here to read, Gratitude – An Attitude For Success for additional information on how gratitude links to living a happy life.

The Foot Pain Identifier

foot pain

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4. Are there any gaps or inconsistencies?

5. Is the writing clear and easy to understand?

6. Does it advance knowledge?

This foot pain identifier information is important.  People rarely acknowledge how important their feet are to their everyday life. Well, that is until they experience foot pain themselves!  Just think about it, you use your feet to:

  • Stand
  • Pivot
  • Jump
  • Turn
  • Step
  • Dance
  • Walk
  • Run

Even just to keep your balance.  But when you experience foot pain, these seemingly simple functions can become quite challenging.

Plantar fasciitis is the most common type of foot pain.  The plantar fascia is a layer of connective tissue on the bottom or sole of the foot. It provides support to the foot’s arch and plays a major role in the function and mechanics of walking or running.

Foot Pain Identifier – Feel The Burn!

Foot pain can have quite a few causes.  However, the most common (as detailed at medicinenet.com) for foot pain are:

Plantar fasciitis is also the most common cases we see at the clinic. When plantar fascia is relaxed, the toes are pointed down and the foot is in the “plantar flexed” position.

Conversely, the plantar fascia is tight and undergoes tension when the toes and foot are pointed upwards, “dorsi flexed.”  When this tension persists, the plantar fascia can become irritated and develop “burning-like” symptoms at the bottom of the foot.

The most specific problem area tends to be close to the heel.  The heel bone or calcaneus provides the foundation at the rear of the foot. This is also the origin point of the plantar fascia.

heal pain

Pain In The Heel

A cardinal symptom of plantar fasciitis is a sharp pain in the heel which is usually experienced when you take your first steps in the morning.  Remember, your foot is typically in a restful state (plantar flexion) throughout the night while you sleep.  Therefore, when you arise, there is a sudden jolt of tension shot into the plantar fascia as it is quickly stretched.  As such, it can make for a very painful start to the day.

In this case, specific stretches can be performed each morning before getting out of bed to help alleviate these symptoms.

Click here to read What You Should NOT Do if You Suffer From Numbness and Tingling.

foot pain identifier

Factors Of Plantar Fasciitis

The name of the diagnosis is kind of a misnomer as any diagnosis that ends with the word “itis” usually indicates the condition involves significant inflammation.  However, in actuality, there is research to both support and negate the relationship that inflammation actually has with this condition.

Poor foot position or posture is really the most common factor of this condition.  In most cases it is due to being flat footed or over pronation of their foot when walking.  Flat footed people are overusing their muscle at the bottom of the plantar fascia. Usually until it becomes irritated, causing plantar fasciitis.  Keep in mind, this is something that can happen at any age and is very common.

Plantar fasciitis doesn’t tend to discriminate and is usually associated with poor postural habits and lifestyle.  This condition is also common with increased activity and repetitive strain.  Transitioning to new footwear can also trigger plantar fasciitis resulting in the soft tissue breaking down.  Also, accumulative effects of gravity over time, along with weight gain can also precipitate plantar fasciitis.

Conservative care might include:

  • Frequent icing
  • Wearing a supportive slipper around the house
  • Night brace
  • Taping
foot scan

Prevention For Foot Pain

Prevention is best achieved through properly functioning feet.  So, supportive footwear is critical. Therefore, I strongly recommend getting a foot scan and examination by an appropriate healthcare provider to determine if custom orthotics are necessary.

Click here to read, How To Choose The Best Running Shoes – Part 1.

Because this condition has become such a buzzword, many people are misdiagnosed by their healthcare providers as other conditions, which cause similar symptoms need to be excluded. These include:

  • A stress fracture
  • Bursitis
  • Neuritis
  • Contusion of the calcaneus
  • Nerve entrapment

The most important thing here is to find the right healthcare practitioner who will conduct a thorough consultation and examination in order to achieve an accurate diagnosis.

Here’s to you putting your best foot forward.

You’re one step closer!

For additional information and at home stretches click here to read CORRECTIVE EXERCISES FOR RELIEVING FOOT PAIN.

References:
  1. Plantar Fasciitis – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1788446/
  2. Plantar Warts – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3951039/
  3. Ingrown Toenails – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/22565427/

Asthma In Kids Can Be Decreased By Just Doing This!

Asthma In Kids

Every parent wants to do what is best for their children. But, is having a family dog, a good idea, especially when it comes to asthma in kids? Well, I strongly woof you to appreciate that Fido has served your children well and has actually reduced their chances of developing childhood asthma!

What Is Asthma?

Asthma is a sporadic inflammatory disease that affects the airways and the lungs and is one of the leading chronic inflammatory diseases in children worldwide. Often, it presents as tightness in the chest, shortness of breath and wheezing sounds.  It can be very scary to experience!

kids health

What Causes Asthma?

Asthma is often triggered by airborne environmental and genetic factors that include:

Asthma cannot be cured completely; but with a proper lifestyle, it can be well managed and controlled. However, what if we could drastically reduce the risk of developing it in the first place?

How dogs can reduce the risk of childhood asthma

Asthma Study

Research confirms that having a family dog could have several health benefits, including decreasing your child’s risk of developing asthma. According to a research carried out by Dr. Tove Fall, a professor of epidemiology at the Uppsala University, children from the time of birth, raised with dogs, had an estimated 15% decreased asthma cases than children who were not raised with dogs.

This Swedish nation-wide study tracked 650,000 babies and found that babies who live on farms or have frequent exposure to farm animals within the first year of life, can reduce their risk of asthma by 52%. The results were robust and independent of parental asthma or whether the child was first-born.

Furthermore, kids who grow up with family dogs have a 15% lower risk of developing asthmacompared to kids who did not grow up with a dog.

Later, a 2018 follow up study was done to determine if the sex of dog or number of dogs would have an impact on results and here’s what it showed.

  • Children exposed to female dogs had lower risk of asthma compared to those exposed to male dogs.
  • Children with two dogs or more had lower risk of asthma than those with one dog only! 
best dogs for kids

In Conclusion

What we have learned from these studies is that pregnant women and young children can safely play and share time with farm animals and dogs knowing that it may indeed be serving them well. Especially when it comes to asthma in kids! The idea is that animals provide the body exposure to germs and microbes which improve immune function

However, if your children are older and have allergy induced asthma from dogs, adding a family dog to the equation is not the answer!  Research showed that exposure within the first year of life reduced the risks of asthma. This doesn’t necessarily mean your family can’t have a dog. There are some low to non-shedding breeds that some allergy and asthma sufferers are not sensitive to. These breeds include but are not limited to:

It is important to meet and share time with a possible future fur-family member to test allergy sensitivity before making the commitment. If you are thinking of planning a family in the future, maybe having Fido join the team first would be a strategic health move! 

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Activities For Toddlers In Quarantine

Activities For Toddlers

Looking for activities for toddlers to do during quarantine, keeping them occupied, engaged AND learning? Check out these top tips and resources!

As you already know by now, the Coronavirus outbreak has already affected most parts of the world. This has resulted in special measures being put into place in an attempt to ‘plank‘ the spread of the virus such as the closing of schools and daycares. With no clear date in sight of reopening school doors, parents are now being challenged to come up with new and creative ways to keep their children occupied, engaged and learning from the comforts of their home.

As a parent of a toddler (and young baby) myself, I understand and certainly sympathise with other parents facing this same situation. It can be really difficult to know where to start and to find the appropriate tools while still obeying proper quarantine / social distancing guidelines. Especially when it comes to activities for toddlers. As such, I have put together a list of tips and resources that have been working for my family.

kids schedule

Create A Daily Schedule

If your child attended any sort of daycare/preschool/school, then following a daily schedule should be a familiar task.  Therefore creating structure and rules, like a set schedule to follow at home, is the perfect place to start.  In fact,  According to Kathy Eugster, MA, RCC, CPT-S, BCRPT-S (Pacific Spirit Play Therapy Resources);

“When parents provide structure, it means they are asserting and establishing their parental authority and control in a responsible manner in order to encourage healthy growth and development of their children.” –Providing Structure for Your Child: How to Assert Your Parental Authority

Start by breaking the day into blocks including tasks such as:

Depending on your child’s age you can also incorporate a ‘recess’. Perhaps this is a 15 minute break between activities to have a healthy snack, run around or let loose before moving on to the next item on the schedule.

One schedule that has been floating around and seems to tick off all the right boxes is this COVID-19 Daily Schedule.

covid-19 daily schedule

I particularly like this schedule because it incorporates all the topics I listed and gives examples on how to achieve each of them.

Another benefit to following a schedule like this is it allows the kids to still have some say.  Allowing your child to make their own choices within a given category will help keep them interested. Plus they can change up activities throughout the week depending on how they’re feeling and still get the benefits of learning. Also, when you include your children in the decision making, they are more likely to follow willingly in addition to learning a life skill.

Decision making is one of the most important skills your children need to develop to become healthy and mature adults. Decision making is crucial because the decisions your children make dictate the path that their lives take.” – Jim Taylor Ph.D.

how to play with your kids

Play And Activities To Do Together

According to Kenneth R. Ginsburg and the Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health

“Play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth.”

They go on to discuss the importance of play in promoting healthy child development and maintaining strong parent-child bonds.

So, what are some of the activities you can do with your child? Well, here are some of my favorite links I use to get ideas and keep things fun!

importance of reading to your children

Storytelling

There are incredible benefits of reading to your child which can start at a very young age. In fact, according to a study by Ohio State University;

“Young children whose parents read them five books a day enter kindergarten having heard about 1.4 million more words than kids who were never read to. This ‘million word gap’ could be one key in explaining differences in vocabulary and reading development.” 

There are several statistics and benefits which demonstrate the importance of parents reading to their children. Click here for a list of tops tips on how to read to your child in order to get the most out their literary experience.

Why do we need creativity?

Engage In Creative Tasks

Toddlers are curious and active by nature. So, you can’t simply expect your child to stay calm in the house for the whole day without any sort of proper engagement. Some great examples of activities that can keep your toddler interested and occupied include:

With such activities, you can enhance their imagination and creativity. Besides, such tasks can even help your kid discover their passion. Click here for a fantastic list of 20 ACTIVITIES FOR TODDLERS among additional tips and resources.

quality time with kids

Spend Quality Time With Them

Negative things always have some positivity in them. Before the self-isolation period, you may not have had enough time to be with your kids. However, you now have all the time to sit and listen to your kids. You can let your kid lead you to do what they love.

By taking such an approach, your kid will feel appreciated and in control. This can go a long way towards ensuring that your child does not get bored even when they have to spend most of their time indoors. Click here for some fun ways you can encourage quality time with your family.

Final Thoughts

You now know that even though your child has to stay in the house to meet the social distancing goal, there are still several activities for toddlers and older children you can do to keep them:

  • Active
  • Engaged
  • Stimulated
  • Learning

For another great resource for an ‘all in one’ learning experience at any age, click here to obtain Scolastic Learn At Home – day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking and growing.

Other articles you might be interested in:

Are Chiropractors Safe?

is chiropractic safe

Are Chiropractors safe? Furthermore, what do they do??

Chiropractors perform spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments by applying a gentle and specific impulse with their hands to the spine and other joints in the body. The adjustment corrects and aligns the spine removing stress from spinal nerves. By correcting spinal alignment and removing nerve interference the body is better able to function and heal properly.

Chiropractic adjustments are effective in restoring mobility and relieving pain. Especially to injuries caused by traumatic events such as slips and falls or due to repetitive strain.  

Chiropractic Adjustment Benefits Your:
  • Bones
  • Muscles
  • Joints
  • Ligaments
  • Tendons
  • Cartilage

Click here to read, Are Chiropractors Doctors?

benefits of chiropractic

Chiropractic Benefits

  1. A Great Way To Relieve PainChiropractic care is one of the best ways of getting rid of aches and pains. It’s effective and helps people avoid taking pain medication. Also, it’s great for relieving neck pain, back pain and headaches.
  2. Corrects The Underlying ProblemPain medications don’t address the source of the problem but the symptoms. Furthermore they can become addicting and cause an opiod addiction. However, Chiropractic focuses on the nervous system, which controls the body’s function from breathing to digestion. The spine protects the spinal cord and nerves. Therefore, spinal health is essential to the overall wellness. Click here to read, A Natural Proven Solution To The Opioid Crisis.
  3. Helps Avoid Medication – Medication can be useful in addressing various health problems but typically they just mask the symptoms. Unlike chiropractic care which can relieve aches and pains by getting to the root cause of the problem. Giving you relief without any drugs or pesky side effects.
  4. Personalized TreatmentNo formula must be followed for chiropractic care. A qualified chiropractor will assess your situation and come up with a care plan to correct the problem. Chiropractors may use different instruments and techniques that best suits that patient’s specific needs.
  5. Complements Other Treatment ProceduresThe great thing about chiropractic care is that it can be used alongside other forms of treatment. Chiropractic patients may also be receiving massage therapy or acupuncture. All of which complement each other.

Click here to read, What The Neck? Are You Short-Circuiting?

Is Chiropractic Safe?

Are Chiropractors Safe?

Chiropractic care is an extremely safe. It’s conservative, yet effective option for correcting spinal problems. Maintaining a healthy spine is crucial to having a healthy nervous system. But must be handled with care. Chiropractic is non-invasive and drug-free, making it a safe option.

Most patients feel instant relief after receiving chiropractic adjustments. Some patients may feel mild side effects such as soreness and aching. The good thing is that it typically doesn’t last and will go away in a few hours.

Always share any concerns you may have with your chiropractor.  Chiropractors are well-trained professionals who understand how to take care of their patients.
To find a chiropractor in your area please click here for our online directory.

You’re one step closer!