Whacky Hormones, Weight Gain? It Could Be BPA

plasticNot only are plastic water bottles and cash register receipts enemies of many environmentalists, but they also put your hormones at huge risk.  Studies show that Bisphenol-a or BPA is a huge endocrine disruptor, and contributes to hormone imbalance problems such as excess estrogen.  Excessive estrogen is a contributing factor of fibroids, endometriosis and a slew of other unfavorable conditions.

In fact, a study published in Endocrinology, says that women exposed to BPA during pregnancy are at a huge risk of developing diabetes.  It doesn’t have to a huge amount of BPA. Exposure to even a small amount of the chemical will do.  Scientists divided pregnant mice into three groups. One group of mice was fed a small amount of BPA; the second group was fed ten times the amount of BPA while the control group was fed BPA-free diet.  A few months post pregnancy, both groups of BPA-exposed mice showed signs of glucose intolerance.

Weight Gain

That’s not all.  The Endocrinology study also showed that both groups of mice exposed to BPA during pregnancy gained 3 percent more body weight than the mice in the control group.   Could this be one of the reasons women have such a hard time losing post-baby weight?  Here’s another thing to consider.  Because of the hormone-disrupting effects, Bisphenol-A contributes to girls’ experiencing early onset of puberty.

We’re All Exposed!

Bisphenol-A exposure mightn’t be as deadly as a pandemic, but it is still very serious business.  Remember the diabetes  and weight gain risk? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 96 percent of Americans have some level of BPA in their bodies.   It’s true that this chemical is just about everywhere.  Not to fear.  Here’re a few things you can do to lessen exposure.

  • Look for BPA-free labels on cans and plastic goods.
  • Instead of plastic bottles, use stainless steel water bottles. Besides reducing exposure to BPA, stainless steel water bottles help save the planet by reducing the amount of plastic in landfills.
  • Use glass instead of plastic containers to store food.
    If possible, do not keep cash register receipts.

Lowering exposure to BPA can be tough.  After all, it’s in just about anything you can think of.  But it’s important to remember that even taking small steps to improve your health can make a world of good.

 

Resources:
INTRODUCTION TO ENDOCRINE DISRUPTING CHEMICALS (EDCs) A GUIDE FOR PUBLIC INTEREST ORGANIZATIONS AND POLICY-MAKERS

Bisphenol-A Treatment During Pregnancy in Mice: A New Window of Susceptibility for the     Development of Diabetes in Mothers Later in Life: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25830705

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4 Surprising Reasons To Meditate

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When most people think of meditation, images of cross-legged, robed monks spring to mind. But, while meditation can help you achieve this level of serenity, no robes or mountaintops are required.   As many as 18 million people in the U.S. practice mediation as a form of relaxation, according to National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

Meditation Lowers Stress and Improves Overall Physical Health

According to research, people who meditate showed a huge drop in cortisol -your body’s stress hormone- which equates to lower blood pressure. Healthy blood pressure levels reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. But that’s not all, study participants also saw improvements in conditions ranging from Irritable Bowel Syndrome to insomnia.

Hone Focus and Concentration

Today, it seems that stress and anxiety are a part of daily life. Numerous obligations pull us in different directions, making concentration a challenge. Mediation helps you train your brain to focus more intensely, thereby making you more productive.

As your meditation practice advances, you’ll be less likely to dwell on memories of the past and counterproductive worries of what the future may bring. Meditation leaders refer to this added benefit as thoughtless awareness. In this state, your mind can let distractions fade away, allowing for better mental clarity and deeper focus and concentration.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff & Connect More

As you move along your meditation journey, you’ll find that life’s stressors become easier to manage as you focus on what really matters to you. As a result, These benefits enrich your life by making you more compassionate and forgiving of others.

Meditation allows you to connect with The Devine. Through regular practice, you will tap into a deep well of joy, happiness, and peace of mind. Life will seem less scary and you’ll feel more secure in your place in the world.

Meditate on Accepting Yourself

Self-acceptance is something we all struggle with at one time or another. It’s human nature to compare yourself to other people. But, the damage builds when you start tearing yourself down.

As you grow in your mediation practice, you’ll achieve a higher level of awareness, one where you’re no longer shackled to self-doubt and negative outside influences. In fact, the more you meditate the better you’ll see yourself for the awesome person you truly are.

It’s Easy to Start

It’s unmistakable that this ancient practice can change your life. But can you devote to a regular meditation practice. The truth is meditation can fit comfortably into any schedule, no matter how hectic. All you need is just ten minutes a day.   Start first thing in the morning.   Morning meditation sessions will leave you wide-awake and clear-headed to face the busy day ahead.

Try this meditation practice on for size.

  • Choose a comfortable chair to sit in. If you want, you can sit on a pillow on the floor.   Now, sit up straight and relax the muscles in your shoulders, arms, hands, all the muscles down to your toes.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Take slow, deep breaths in through your nose while focusing on the sound of your breathing. Relish the feeling of clean air entering and recharging your body.
  • Now slowly exhale, feeling your body relax even more.

Don’t you feel calmer already?

In the beginning, you might be a little restless after the first few minutes. But trust me, the more you practice meditation, the easier it will get. You’ll also gain incredible mental clarity and connect with your emotions.

Having control of your emotions empowers you to better manage food cravings and lose those stubborn excess pounds. Best of all, you’ll overcome the mental blocks that prevent all of us from living up to our true potential.

This ancient Eastern technique allows you to obtain great health and vitality by simply slowing your mind.   Begin by closing your eyes and taking a deep breath. Good, now you are on your way to becoming your true self.

 

Sources:

  1. Meditation programs for psychological stress and wellbeing. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. http://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/search-for-guides-reviews-and-reports/?pageaction=displayproduct&productid=1831. Accessed: October 2, 2015.
  2. How does it work? Like a charm, but better. Sahaja Meditation. http://www.sahajameditation.com/how-does-meditation-work. Accessed: October 2, 2015.
  3. Benefits of Kriya Yoga. Self Realization Fellowship. http://www.yogananda-srf.org/Kriya_Yoga_Meditation/Benefits_of_Kriya_Yoga.aspx#.VPJx4HzF-HQ. Accessed: October 2, 2015.
  4. Meditation: An introduction. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/meditation/overview.htm. Accessed: October 2, 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

Do You Have Hormone Problems? It might be your shower!

 

Shower woman washingWe can thank the ancient Greeks for inventing the very first indoor showers.  Today the average person in most countries takes about eight showers a week.   It’s no argument that good hygiene is important, but it’s also important to realize that showers can indeed be dangerous.  Bathing in unfiltered water means exposure to hundreds of harmful chemicals such as chlorine, PCB, dioxin, and DDT.

The skin is the largest organs and is most vulnerable.  Hot showers are especially dangerous because chlorine and other chemicals are easily absorbed through pores and directly into the blood stream.  The level of exposure to these chemicals depends on a host of other factors such as shower length and existing chemicals in the water supply.

Hormone Troubles

Fans of long, hot showers should know that chlorine and other dangerous chemicals that seep into the blood stream through the skin.  Over time, too much chlorine build up mimics estrogen and can lead to excess estrogen or estrogen dominance.  For women, the hormone estrogen is necessary for optimal function and helps to regulate the female reproductive system.  An excess of estrogen throws the entire body out of whack.  Women with estrogen dominance often suffer from symptoms like:

•    Irregular periods
•    Extra heavy menstrual bleeding that also can last for weeks at a time
•    Hair Loss
•    Fatigue
•    Low Libido
•    Memory Problems

Estrogen dominance is also a chief reason women develop the following diseases:

•    Fibroids
•    Endometriosis
•    Fibrocystic Breast Disease
•    Breast and Endometrial Cancer

But there’s good news!  Using a shower filter cuts exposure to the dangers of chlorine, mercury, lead and other toxins in public water by 99 percent.  Bathing in filtered water not only rejuvenates dry hair and skin but also lessens estrogen dominance and the risk of certain cancers.

If you’re reading this and have a shower filter, then great!  If you aren’t using a shower filter, please consider buying one. They’re inexpensive –they cost around  $50 to $150- and depending on the brand, the filter only needs to be changed a couple of times a year.

Five reasons why you should buy a chlorine filter:

1.     Using a chlorine filter reduces exposure to chlorine and heavy metals like lead and mercury.

2.     Showering in chlorine-free water improves female hormonal health and lowers the risk of estrogen dominance.

3.     Lowering chlorine exposure also lowers the risk of bladder and breast cancer.

4.    Using a chlorine filter reduces the risk of respiratory inflammation and breathing problems.

5.    Using a shower filter provides better air quality, not only in the bathroom but throughout the house. Remember, steam creates chlorine vapors, so a filter significantly reduces this problem.
Source:
Humphrey, John W; Olsen, John P; Sherwood, Andrew N (1998). Greek and Roman Technology: A Sourcebook. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-06136-0.

Soothe Menstrual Cramps Natrually Without Side Effects

apple-cider-vinegarSo how does a simple ingredient like apple cider vinegar-a product found in your local supermarket-soothe the pain  associated with fibroids and endometriosis?

Apple Cider Vinegar  significantly lowers inflammation levels in the body, while simultaneously promoting  optimal body PH levels.   When the body is alkaline, inflammation is kept in check. Additional benefits include normalizing hormones and regulating menstrual periods.

Over-the-counter pain killers work in a similar way by lowering the inflammation in your body but they can be very hard on the liver. Organic apple cider vinegar benefits also include total body detoxification which helps the liver cleanse the body of excess estrogen.

If you suffer from uterine fibroids , endometriosis, irregular menstrual bleeding, heavy bleeding or other disruptive uterine problems, you should definitely drink apple cider vinegar on a daily basis.

Where Can You Buy Apple Cider Vinegar?

You can buy apple cider vinegar from the organic/natural section of your local supermarket or your local health food store. If you can’t find it in either of those places, then try http://www.vitacost.com. This is a great website for finding  top quality health products at pretty reasonable prices.

The best brand of apple cider vinegar is Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar. This company has been around for over 100 years and their product is made with 100% organic apples.

Drink Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar daily for best results.

Try this little recipe:

2 tablespoons Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

½ teaspoon aluminum-free baking soda (Bob’s Red Mill)

8-10 ounces of purified water or spring water

Drink this ACV formula at least twice a day, especially on the days leading up to menstruation.  This  cleansing drink  alkalinizes the body, restores proper PH balance and in turn, lowers inflammation and pain.

Resources:

http://www.abihm.org/heal-your-fibroid-optimize-your-health

Don’t let endometriosis ruin your chances of having a baby

Pregnant belly with red ribbonPregnancy can be a joyous event that many women aspire to and long for.  However, when pregnancy is complicated by endometriosis, joy is quickly replaced by fear and anxiety.  The American Society for Reproductive Medicine says that endometriosis occurs in almost half of women experiencing infertility. This situation is indeed difficult; however, there is hope for sufferers. Continue reading

Just say no to ice: cure your ice addiction and save your teeth

ice cubesDon’t get excited, I am not referring to a drug.  I am referring to  ice cubes.  Believe it or not, for many who suffer from pagophagia, a medical term for eating ice, this compulsion may feel like an addiction as the individual is driven to eat massive amounts of ice on a daily basis.

Pagophagia falls within a wider category called pica, a craving for non-food items such as dirt, crayons, or clay to name a few things.

Continue reading