Down the alimentary canal we go….. Clues you can use from your head to your tush!
I’ve gone round and round in my head about how best to approach this next topic. It’s a “which came first…. the chicken 🐣or the egg situation”, so I will leave it up to you as to how you choose to run with these clues!
As we travel down the alimentary canal, some of the roughest waters are located right beyond the oral cavity. An estimated 60-70 million people have chronic digestive disorders in the USA, with 25% of the adult population experiencing weekly symptoms of reflux.
Here’s “the chicken”:
– Reflux commonly results from either a mechanical dysfunction or environmental trigger. Mechanically, it may be caused by a diagnosed hiatal hernia, pregnancy, excessive weight, eating a large meal too close to bedtime……there are others, but these are the biggies.
Biochemically, certain foods and beverages may also trigger reflux in some people. Spicy, oily, or fried foods, alcohol, and caffeine are well known irritants.
👉👉There are two other under diagnosed but VERY COMMON dysfunctions….. Hypochlorhydria: a deficiency of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and insufficient digestive enzyme production within the body. 👈👈
Causes of low stomach acid include:
– A deficiency of Zinc or B vitamins
– Medications taken for reflux
– Gastric bypass surgery
– Age – people over the age of 60-65 are most likely to have inadequate stomach acid production
Before refrigeration and the advent of the processed food industry, normal diets were rich in food that contained prebiotics, probiotics, and enzymes that supplemented what was already made within the body. Sadly, the Standard American Diet (aptly acronymed ‘SAD’) contains none of these, and the “fakeness” of many foods has made the digestive process even harder to accomplish.
Digestive enzyme insufficiency has several possible causes:
– Gallbladder removal
– Crohn’s or Celiac
– Leaky gut
– Chronic Stress
– Inflammation (often due to toxin load)
Certain diseases affecting the pancreas
Low stomach acid and/or insufficient digestive enzymes can cause a cluster of clues over time….
🔎Bloating and burping
🔎Upset stomach that sometimes feels worse when you take supplements
🔎Heartburn or indigestion
🔎Diarrhea and gas
🔎Protein, B12, Calcium and magnesium deficiencies
🔎Neurological issues such as numbness, tingling, and vision changes
🔎An appearance of or worsening of an autoimmune disorder (lupus, allergies, asthma, skin conditions, etc)
Prescription trends reflect this stat: Approximately 65 million prescriptions are written for reflux medications on an annual basis…. The most common being💊 acid reducers.
WAIT. WHAT??!?!? If the reflux problem is commonly related to too little acid in the stomach, why in the world are drugs like 💊Pepcid, Prilosec, Nexium, Protonix 💊prescribed so regularly? After all, they are designed to reduce acid in the stomach. That, my friends, is the multi- billion dollar question you’ll need to ask Big Pharma about.
I make no recommendations to quit any medication without talking to your favorite health care professional first. I’m not a doctor…. only an observant pharmacist who knows when things don’t add up. #followthemoney
And now we come to “the egg”….. the medications regularly recommended for heartburn. You see, the drugs within the acid reducing class are approved by the FDA for short term use only (generally 8 weeks or less) and yet we all probably know multiple people who have been on them for years.
What happens when the pH within the stomach continues to slowly become more alkaline?
* A worsening of B12 deficiency which affects many parts of the body, but especially the nervous system. Prolonged deficiency increases the risk of dementia and neuropathy.
* An increased risk of hip, wrist, and spine fractures due to accelerated osteoporosis
* A 50% greater risk of pneumonia
* An increased risk of a cardiovascular event
* A worsening of overall digestive problems
* Increased risk of kidney disease
How can this particular “chicken/egg” question be avoided? The biggest answer to nearly everything we talk about is always going to revolve around diet, exercise, stress management, sufficient sleep, and removal of toxins whenever possible. It’s not always easy to incorporate enzyme and stomach acid supportive foods into today’s daily eating habits, and yet they are a valuable and needed piece of the wellness and vitality puzzle.
Thankfully, we have some very supportive digestive enzyme supplements available to us! 🙌🙌
Young Living’s Essentialzyme caplets also contains Betaine HCl which help support healthy stomach acid pH.
Young Living’s Essentialzymes-4, Allerzyme, and Detoxzyme are also digestive enzyme supportive capsules, and Mightyzyme chewables are for kiddos (or adults who like them!) who might need a little extra digestive support!
As always….. This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure….. Rather to give you the tools you need to make the best and most informed decisions you can make in regards to your own health. You are the responsible party for Y.O.U. …… no one else.
* Although we could explore skin clues for the rest of the year, today we’ll wrap up dermal geographical points of interest. You’re getting the idea, right? The body, especially its “packaging” gives loads and loads of early clues as to the direction a body’s health may be headed. As with GPS, you can pay attention to the map and gain control over where you are heading, or you can ignore the map/clues……… and who knows where you may end up!
* Acanthosis nigricans (AN) is a skin abnormality that results in velvety darker discolorations found most often in body folds and creases. The discoloration develops gradually over time and is most often seen across the back of the neck, armpits, and groin area. Although acanthosis nigricans is sometimes an inherited skin characteristic, the most common cause is diabetes and obesity. Endocrine abnormalities (thyroid) and certain cancers (adenocarcinomas) can also cause this type of skin change.
Chronic use of certain medications can also cause AN. Birth Control Pills and some hormone replacement therapies, steroids, high dose niacin, and a class of drugs used to treat HIV (protease inhibitors) are the most common offenders.
* Keratosis pilaris (KP) is an annoying but harmless skin condition which causes dry rough patches and tiny bumps often seen on the upper arms, thighs, cheeks, or buttocks. You may have heard it sometimes called “chicken skin”. An estimated 40% of the population has experienced it, and though often related to a Vitamin A deficiency (which is seen in roughly 51% of adults in the USA), KP is most often seen in people who regularly eat a very specific set of food triggers.
Who’d have thought that 51% of adults in the USA would have a Vitamin A deficiency?…. And yet we do. Vitamin A deficiency will ultimately affect the eyes in addition to the skin. Young Living has a super eye health supplement called Illumineyes which happens to be loaded with Vitamin A. #killtwobirdswithonestone
Those with KP would do best to avoid common skin irritants found in mainstream bath and body care products. Thankfully, Young Living has us covered here too! They make caring for ourselves so very easy! Have you tried any of the YL bath and shower gels and bar soaps? I’m especially fond of the Morning Start Shower Gel!
Food triggers are a serious influencer of keratosis pilaris. Thankfully, the foods that tend to trigger the outbreaks are 100% unnecessary and are generally void of quality nutritional value.
These would include:
🔥Refined white sugar
🔥High fructose corn syrup
🔥Trans fats (found predominantly in junk and fast foods)
🔥Refined carbs (white bread, pastries, soda, sugary breakfast cereals, etc)
🔥Artificial flavorings and colorings
🔥Commercial (homogenized/pasteurized) dairy
My feeling about KP is that, while annoying and harmless, it is an early red flag clue that bumpy waters may lay ahead if reparations are not in order. If food is a trigger, then the gut is compromised and showing early signs of stress. Don’t let this stress escalate…. It’s a slippery slope. The gut is at the root of all chronic disease throughout the body, not the least of which is digestive disorders themselves! YL’s Life 9 probiotic and a digestive enzyme (Essentialzyme, Essentialzymes-4, Allerzyme, or Detoxzyme) would be excellent supportive measures to get and keep your gut on track.
KP is a common skin condition among children too….. It’s far better to nip things in the bud than it is to let a situation escalate, even if it means going thru a season of junk food withdrawal. Good eating habits are perhaps one of the best gifts you can give a kiddo! Don’t forget that Young Living has Kidscents Mightypro probiotic packets and Mightyzyme chewable digestive enzymes for little tummies too!
Because KP is actually a buildup of dead tissue, a gentle but effective way to minimize the bumps is by using a “clean” DIY sugar scrub on the areas 3-4 times a week.
2 cups organic brown sugar
½ cup organic fractionated coconut oil
½ cup honey
5 drops of lavender essential oil
* Dandruff affects roughly 50% of the population and comes in a few common types. It too is more annoying than harmful, but clues are flying with each brushing of the hair!
Possible causes of dandruff include:
🔥Chronic inflammatory skin condition(s)…. Remember skin is a mirror of the gut!
🔥Allergy or sensitivity to something either applied or ingested (again, gut flag!)
🔥Yeast overgrowth (gut flag!)
🔥Omega 3 deficiency
Managing stress is key with any inflammatory condition. Stress reduction techniques include yoga, prayer, meditation, deep breathing, and utilizing your favorite calming essential oils.
A whopping 98% of the US population fails when it comes to optimal Omega 3’s in their diet. OmegaGize3 is loaded with what we need so as not to be a part of that epic fail statistic. Other clues of Omega 3 deficiencies may include dry hair, dry skin, depression, dry eyes, joint pain and stiffness.
* Thinning hair is something that happens gradually over time. While it is normal to lose around 100 hairs a day, hairs should also be growing back in as they are falling out. Very few people have the hair in their 50’s+ that they had in their 20’s. #aginghappens
Factors that affect thinning hair may include:
Genetics (family pattern hair loss)
Emotional & physical stress
Medical conditions (thyroid or hormone imbalance, and heart disorders)
Poor nutrition or poor absorption of nutrients
Hair products that make thinning worse
Decrease in collagen production as we age
—Ways to minimize thinning hair include eating nutrient dense foods (and utilizing the YL digestive enzymes mentioned above!), OmegaGize3 !!!, and supplemental collagen (internally).
Medications will always and forever have side effects. By their very definition they are a toxin, and many of them cause hair loss. Some of the top offenders include:
Certain acne meds
Anti-coagulants (after about 3-4 months)
Immunosuppressants (methotrexate, Enbrel, Humira etc)
Some anti seizure meds
Blood pressure meds (those whose generic name ends in -olol or -pril)
Mood stabilizer meds (including paxil, zoloft, amitriptyline, and prozac)
Weight loss meds (eg: phentermine)
Gout meds (allopurinol)
Many chemotherapy agents
Steroids (which are also immunosuppressants)
NSAIDS (ex: ibuprofen, naproxen )
I am not a doctor, and cannot diagnose, treat or cure you. I will however, continue to provide you with clues you can use to help you find your way back to the vibrant healthy person God designed you to be (or to support the vibrant health person you already are!). Which body part should we cover next as we continue to unearth clues?
SKIN PART IV : Moles, Skin tags, Bruising, and Early Aging
Isn’t the skin an amazing treasure map of health clues? Today we’re going to dive into some of the signs we’ve all noticed either on ourselves (or others). Bumps, bruises, and wrinkles ….. Oh my!
Moles (nevi) are a common feature on dermal landscape, especially among the fair skinned population. Genetics, sun exposure and certain medications (eg: medications which suppress the immune system, certain antibiotics,synthetic hormones, and some antidepressants) can contribute to mole formation. Additionally, chronic nerve pain or nerve conditions often causes changes in color (mole production being part of those changes!) and temperature of skin. It’s not uncommon to develop a mole pattern on the back, legs, arms, neck etc when there has been damage to the “mothership” spinal cord from surgery or injury.
The most important thing to consider when looking yourself over for moles is noticing changes. Do you know your ABCDE’s of moles?
A: Asymmetry (one side doesn’t match the other)
B: Border (ragged, blurred, or irregular)
C: Color (different colors or shades within a singular mole)
D: Diameter (is it larger than a pencil eraser?)
E: Evolving (is it different from other moles you may have, and has it changed in size, shape or color?)
You’ll notice that the picture included in the graphic has several moles. The one with a red arrow pointing to it is an example of a concerning mole which should be seen by a health professional.
If you have any of the health risks listed above, consider having a skin check done every year by a thorough dermatologist. (I do!)
Other interesting historical and scientific factoids:
*Studies indicated that very “moley” skin have an increased risk for skin, colon and breast cancers
*Studies also indicate that very “moley” skin (greater than 100 moles) tend to have less risk for osteoporosis
*In the 18th century, men and women wore small velvet patches made to look like moles to cover up scars from smallpox.
*On average, only 1 in 100 people are born with a congenital mole.
*Moles come in different colors and shades: Black, red and brown most typically.
Just as moles can “appear”, they can also disappear when healing to the nerve circuitry occurs.
Skin Tags are different from moles. They may be considered an unappealing dermal feature and they are usually very harmless. That said, they are LOADED with health clues.
HPV (human papillomavirus) comes in more than 100 different varieties and affects all areas of the body. HPV is not deadly and it can be difficult to detect. Studies have found that nearly 70% of people with skin tags had a form of HPV. HPV is transmitted thru skin to skin transmission of any kind. While there is a vaccine sold for HPV, I am not a fan of it. As a pharmacist, I’ve done my research, and I feel that the benefits do not outweigh the risks of the vaccine. It is far more beneficial to boost the immune system daily in all the ways you are learning to do here in this group and to practice healthy lifestyle choices.
Skin tags are also an early indicator of diabetes. Diabetes causes a person’s hormones to fall further out of balance, and when hormones that are responsible for healthy skin grown are affected, skin tags may appear. Once normal blood sugar levels are restored AND MAINTAINED, skin tags tend to disappear on their own. If you notice you have skin tags, it may be worthwhile to check your blood sugar with either lab work or a home testing kit.
Obesity paired with friction (hormones and collagen production cannot keep up with the body’s repair needs)
Hormone imbalances (often seen in poly cystic ovarian syndrome PCOS…. In PCOS, skin tags generally start appearing rapidly…. Like a new one every month)
Age (its harder to balance hormones and collagen production is weaker)
All of these scenarios revolve around unbalanced hormones and impaired collagen production to some degree or another. Remember that you are the ultimate CEO of you, and only you can make changes for the betterment of your health long term. God is giving us “check engine lights” with these clues and it is to our individual benefit to heed these built in warning signs. #Sulfurzymesupportshealthycollagenproduction
Bruising, or rather “easy bruising” or bruises that can take weeks to heal have multiple causes:
>>Certain medications can cause this effect (especially blood thinners and “anti-platelet” medications). Other drugs that can do this too include some anti-depressants (prozac, celexa, and paxil), prednisone, and some chemotherapy agents.
>>Aged blood vessels become weaker and skin thins (collagen is depleted).
>>Vasculitis (inflamed blood vessels)
>>A small percentage of “easy bruisers” have a genetic bruising disorder, an autoimmune disorder, or another acquired deficiency.
>>Vitamin deficiencies (Vitamins C, K and/or B12)
>>Peripheral Vascular Disease can lead to decreased blood flow and cause unexplained bruising (most often in the legs)
Helichrysum essential oil has a chemical constituent within it called italidione. Italidione is known for being able to keep blood inside a vessel even after an injury has occurred. Italidione also supports the efficient breakdown of bruising and swelling which contributes to efficient healing time.
Roman Chamomile essential oil also helps support a healthy inflammatory response (not to be confused with the “run away train” variety!) and thereby also supports an efficient healing process.
Premature Aging. Everyone’s favorite right? Have you ever heard the term “sugar face”? This refers to a forehead with deeply carved lines and it happens when too much sugar is consumed on the regular. Overconsumption of processed sugary foods causes a breakdown of collagen and elastin, two substances in our bodies that keep our skin firm and taut. Sugar inflames the skin and generally will aggravate skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis. Because of what sugar does to our skin, it doesn’t just cause the breakdown of collagen, it also makes skin stiffer and more brittle. This will ultimately lead to fine lines and wrinkles we are all trying to avoid! Sulfurzyme will always be a helpful tool, but it can only do so much if excess sugar remains in the picture. Ultimately, our job is to give the body the tools it needs and to also take away that which is causing the problems to begin with.
Other causes of wrinkles include:
Excess sun exposure (especially in a toxin laden body)#ditchthetoxins
Wearing our emotions on our faces (I personally find laugh lines a beautiful thing…. Frown lines, not so much!) Remember how your mama may have said, “be careful or your face will freeze that way!”…. Turns out she was kind of right. Your emotions will eventually weave a pattern into your face. The world needs more smile lines! Use your emotional releasing/supportive oils. They work when they are used and not kept on the shelf 😉.
Chronic Dehydration ( If you don’t like plain water, give those YL Vitality drops a try! They are delish!! )
Did you find these clues helpful? Remember to work with your favorite healthcare professional if something about any of these clues triggers an “ah ha” moment within in you!
Our hands hold so many clues! If you missed part I (deciphering the lunula), you can find it here: http://www.goodmedicine.info/blog/health-clues-you-can-use-1://
….. Now let’s move on to the whole fingernail. Today I’ll be covering a few more clues you can use to help “nail” down healthy habits and reverse possible deficiencies that ultimately will contribute to dis-ease.
What do healthy nails look like?
*When you are examining your nails, they need to be free from all fingernail polish. Because the nail bed is loaded with capillaries (tiny blood vessels) and fingernails grow relatively quickly, the ends of our fingers often can tip off on an early warning health concern. Nails are a snapshot of a person’s health over the previous 6 months…. So too, slow and steady wins the race when you are looking to repair or support what’s amiss.
👍A healthy nail will have a transparent pink color and should be slightly shiny, smooth, and with a slightly (side to side) arched shape. Hardness of your nails comes from the presence of adequate sulfur needed for healthy keratin production (This is why we can thank YL’s Sulfurzyme… if you have been taking this supplement….. and have noticed stronger nails and hair).
*White Spots on nails: poor zinc load or excess refined sugar load
This is technically known as leukonychia and indicative of two things: a zinc “inadequacy” and/or an excess consumption of refined sugars.
Zinc inadequacy is often common in people over the age of 60, but anyone can be susceptible!
Other signs of a possible deficiency include thinning hair, acne, slow healing wounds, worsening vision, worsening hearing or ringing in the ears, and an impaired immune system. Interestingly, food doesn’t taste or smell much when you are zinc compromised (Does that sound familiar given the 2020 virus?… one of the key natural preventatives to the ‘rona is making sure you are getting adequate zinc in your diet!)
How do you know if your problem is excess sugar or a zinc deficiency? Do an honest assessment of your eating habits. Common foods high in zinc include: pumpkin seeds, grass fed beef, chickpeas, lentils, cocoa powder, cashews, yogurt or kefir, mushrooms, spinach, avocados, and chicken. If these are regular staples to your diet and refined sugar is kept to a minimum then I’ll bet your nails are free from white spots!
What are some YL supplements that contain zinc? Hint: one of them is red!
*Longitudinal Ridges: essential fatty acid deficiency
EFA’s are necessary for healthy skin, hair, heart, thyroid, prostate, brain, joints and nails! In addition essential fatty acid deficiency has been found to play a key role in inflammation, depression, and cognitive decline (including Alzheimer’s Disease).
Other signs of a possible EFA deficiency are dry scaly skin, a dry mouth, cracked fingertips or cracked heels (also a sign of a possible thyroid deficiency).
Common foods high in EFA’s include flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, “fatty fish” and fish oil, and brussel sprouts.
*Clubbing: low oxygen in the blood
Clubbed fingernails curve downward at the tip of the finger. It is associated with conditions including lung, liver, or heart disease and both celiac and inflammatory bowel disease all of which, in their own way, affect oxygenation of blood. Clubbed fingers can be “tested” at home by using a simple visual test called “Schamroth’s Sign” (details easily found with a quick internet search). Clubbing is also a possible clue for anemia. These all have the potential to be fairly serious in nature, and I would suggest reaching out to your favorite health professional if your fingernails (AND) other clues are tipping you off to something amiss that has not yet been “officially” diagnosed. I have seen many many clubbed fingernails in my pharmacist days and it’s a clue worth taking note of.
A healthy YL drinkable supplement that supports oxygenation of the blood immediately comes to mind. I’ve yet to meet anyone who wouldn’t benefit from daily NingXia Red!
The rest of the fingernail clues will have to wait until Part III!
(message me if you have no idea what Sulfurzyme, NingXia Red, OmegaGize3 or MindWise is, and would like to learn more!)