👀EYE CLUES PART III: KEEPING YOUR PEEPERS HEALTHY👀
“I can’t wait to lose my eyesight.”…… said no one ever.
We tend to take our eyesight for granted, yet neglecting eye care /health is arguably an epidemic. Statistically, one in six American adults over the age of 45 will suffer from one or more eye conditions that increase the risk of vision loss or impairment with aging.
Genetically, I know that I am predisposed to Age related Macular Degeneration (AMD). I watched my grandmother (an avid 📚 reader) slowly go blind from AMD. Two of her children have also been diagnosed with the same. Yet, I also know that epigenetics (the role our environment plays on the expression of genes) is about 90% of the equation. While I cannot control my genes, I have a tremendous amount of control on my environment and am doing “all the things” as well as working to avoid “all the other things ☠️” that may wake those darn AMD genes up.
*Eye health is often a direct reflection of what we have eaten over the years. Foods rich in vitamins C, A, and E, Zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3’s are crucial to protecting eyes against future age related vision loss. What would an eye supportive diet like this look like?
Well, it would include lots of leafy green veggies, carrots, red peppers, yellow squash, tomatoes🍅, fatty fish🐟 such as salmon, tuna and sardines, eggs, lemons, grapefruits, oranges, apricots, kiwi’s, mangoes, eggs, nuts, and beans. I eat nearly all of these foods regularly, but certainly not on a strict schedule daily. Knowing that, I choose to supplement DAILY to ensure proper nutritional support of my eyes.
NingXia Red and NingXia Wolfberries provide excellent natural support throughout the body, and are especially beneficial for eye health. Zeaxanthin, carotenoids, Vitamin C, zinc, magnesium and taurine are all beneficial nutrients within NingXia Red.
NingXia Wolfberries are rich in zeaxanthin and lutein which are eye protecting carotenoids, defending the eyes from free radical damage. 100grams (roughly a handful of wolfberries) contains 27,800 mcg of zeaxanthin. By comparison, egg yolks are a common food with one of the highest levels of zeaxanthin and have only 1,253 mcg per 100grams. Additionally, the type of zeaxanthin in the NingXia Wolfberry is unusual. For the science guys and gals, it’s an esterified version (zeaxanthin dipalmitate) making it 2-5x more bioavailable than what is normally found in most supplements.
Diets that are deplete of zeaxanthin and lutein trigger the same damage leading to AMD and/or cataracts.
We’ve already spoken a bit about Young Living’s eye supplement, IlluminEyes, and it warrants saying again….. Go check out the ingredient list on the bottle! YL did their research and have given us an excellent tool for supporting eye health.
Do you drink Young Living’s yummy (and beneficial) Slique Tea? Don’t throw those bags away after first use. I can usually get two cups of tea out of each bag, and then I throw them in the fridge. When I have two bags (usually in 2 days), I use them over my eyes during a 20 minute prayer/ downtime during the day to help mitigate computer eye fatigue. The caffeine remaining in the bags causes blood vessels to constrict, and tea itself has antioxidant properties, and also contains astringent-like compounds which may help tighten skin around the eyes. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt to have that added exposure to the frankincense in the tea bag too!😉
Other ways to support optimal eye health include:
👀Wear sunglasses that block UV rays
👀Avoid excessive exposure to computer (and phone) screens and/or use blue light blocking glasses during extended screen time exposure.
👀Don’t smoke. Just don’t.
👀Get regular eye exams and be vigilant about recognizing any changes in eye performance or visible changes in the eye.
👀Make sure you are getting plenty of fresh air and oxygen.
👀Use quality skin care products and makeup. #ThanksYL ! Our toxin load matters, even in eye health!
👀Stay well hydrated (the eye is about 95% water, so you may imagine how chronic dehydration could affect eyesight and eye health).
I Often hear the argument that eating well and supplementing is just too expensive. My response will always be this: We can pay for our health proactively or reactively by paying the farmer👩🔧 up front, or the pharmacist👩⚕️ later… but either way, we will pay. If the choice is to “wait and see”, it will likely become more than only financial burden. I plan to enjoy my golden years doing all the things I love to do instead of spending time in doctor and therapy appointments, taking medications that may inhibit living a fully vibrant life, and consenting to someone else managing my personal health. The choice is ultimately ours to make.
“People’s eyes tell me more than their mouths.”
Eye diseases affect millions of people in the USA. Just like the age old, “Which came first?” question about the chicken🐔 and the egg🐣, we might also want to ask the question about diseases of the eyes. You see (pun intended😁!), diseases of the body may first present themselves as clues within the peepers or eye diseases may result because of dysfunctions within the body… Some of these clues discussed over the next few weeks will be easy to spot by looking in the mirror, while others may require help from a friend, and others may only be seen by your favorite eye care professional.
👀According to the National Eye Institute, the eye blood vessels (those we can see with our naked eye and those that a professional can see) often reflect the condition of brain blood vessels. Blood vessels in the eyes are similar in size, structure, and function to those found in the brain. Thus, inflamed or damaged vessels within the eye are often a predictor of future dementia, cardiovascular disease or stroke. It is very important to listen and make a point of understanding any abnormality your ophthalmologist may point out. Early intervention may make a difference between vision and blindness. Other clues within the eyes are often tied to disorders and dysfunctions occurring in the body. Additionally, many medications can lead to secondary eye diseases…. another reason to avoid a polypharmacy lifestyle whenever possible!
Cataracts, glaucoma, Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy are clues we’ll start with, as they are extremely common eye diseases in the United States, affecting millions and millions of people predominantly over the age of 40. You’ll notice in our discussion that the damage likely began occurring many years earlier! #cluesyoucanuse
👀Cataracts affect more than 22 million Americans 40 years and older. Those who will be predisposed to cataracts will have a history of:
🔎Long term steroid use
🔎Excessive alcohol intake
🔎Radiation treatment or exposure to the upper body
🔎Blood pressure medications (beta blockers and ACE inhibitors)
🔎Photosensitivity causing medications that increase sensitivity of sunlight to the eyes (BCP’s, antihistamines, antidepressants, diabetes meds, NSAIDS are a few known to do this). Wear sunglasses😎 if you are on these meds!
🔎Living in an area with high air pollution. Let’s park here for just a second. We tend to think of air pollution as being something outdoors, generated by someone else. Yet in standard American households, poor air quality is inadvertently self induced with synthetic fragrance plug in’s, toxic cleaners, candles, aerosolized deodorants and hair sprays, and sprayed toxic air fresheners. Please do not do this to yourself or your family. If you haven’t yet started, begin switching over to 100% natural alternatives beginning with Thieves Household Cleaner and a diffuser with a wide variety of Young Living clean fresh scents. Ya’ll, take a moment and share your favorite fall/winter diffuser recipes in the comments!
👀Glaucoma will be most prevalent in those who have a history of:
🔎Long term steroid use
🔎Medications used in the treatment of Parkinsons, epilepsy, depression, allergies, and prostate disorders. Additionally, NSAIDS, and antipsychotics have also been implicated. Birth Control Pills have been under close scrutiny in the last decade as possible purveyors of glaucoma predisposition. Eyes have estrogen receptors within them, and many scientists believe that healthy natural estrogen levels have a protective effect on the retina. Eye disease is often insidious and damage to the optic nerve is slow. A large study released in 2011 found that women who had used birth control pills for more than 5 years had a 25% increase in their glaucoma risk.
🔎Genetics, trauma, or injury
👀Macular Degeneration is another sneaky eye disorder. Early diagnosis is usually the result of an attentive eye care professional who will recognize the telltale signs under the retina. There are some outward early clues for the potential ocularly challenged. Difficulty in judging distance when walking (making it harder to keep your balance) and slightly blurred central vision are two clues that indicate a visit to an ophthalmologist would be appropriate. 🔎Prescription medications that may predispose someone to Macular Degeneration include beta blockers and certain other blood pressure medications. Genetics also tends to play a part. That said, remember that 90% of gene expression is environmental (epigenetics) and we have much control over our environment!
👀Diabetic retinopathy is a complication usually resulting from poorly managed blood sugar. The longer blood sugar is poorly controlled, the greater the likelihood that this condition will develop. Symptoms are gradual (as with most chronic eye diseases), and include spots or “floaters” in vision, blurred vision, fluctuating vision impairment, dark or empty areas of vision, and ultimately vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness between the ages of 20-74 years old. It is no small problem, and affects an estimated 4 million people every year.
If you’ve identified yourself in any of these possible scenarios, now’s the time to add IlluminEyes to your Young Living shopping cart on the regular. We have much to talk about in the way of eye health clues and supportive measures to counter balance the stumbling blocks we’ve all encountered in our walk through life. Eyes require certain nutrients…. Vitamins A, C, E, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin are key to optimal eye health, and IlluminEyes contains all of these. It also contains dried Wolfberry fruit powder which has a unique type of zeaxanthin that naturally boosts blood levels 2-5x higher than sources acquired elsewhere. Good stuff!
Support your eyes proactively. Once the damage is done, it’s often difficult (or impossible) to reverse. See you next week with more eye clues!
Hair is a sensitive and personal subject for many people. Globally, the hair care market is estimated to be about 87.9 BILLION dollars annually. Clearly, people like their hair!. So, if hair goes missing, thinning, or begins to fall out in handfuls, it may be an emotional experience.
Typically, the average adult head loses 80-100 strands of hair a day. If you’ve noticed greater hair loss, the first clue is to determine if thinning hair happened gradually or abruptly and if in patches or across the entire scalp.
One of the most common hair loss triggers is stress and/or😷 illness. Our body perceives mental stress in the same way it responds to excessive physical stress. Persistent high levels of cortisol arrests hair growth and contributes to excessive shedding of hair. If stress remains elevated for an extended period of time, hair will often thin and even turn gray. Bacterial and viral infections can also certainly trigger hair loss, specifically if fear or angst are emotions carried by the individual.
The good news is that stress related hair loss usually stops several months after the stress or sickness has abated.
Stress management is a KEY component to a healthy lifestyle and healthy hair. At no time does it become more important than when the body is already fatigued from fighting an illness. Do not underestimate the power of emotionally supportive oils such as Young Living’s 🙏Stress Away, Peace and Calming, and Valor🙏!
Other additional tress “de-stressing” tips include:
*Incorporating a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables and food high in Omega 3’s, while avoiding processed foods! If you feel that you may not be getting enough Omega 3’s in your diet, add in Young Living’s OmegaGize3 to fill in the gaps! You’d be surprised at how much our bodies (and hair) actually need. Consider also stepping into an anti-inflammatory diet. (Message me privately and I can connect you with a wonderful 28 day program that has helped many people walk through this in a community setting.)
*Detox your body, making sure to drink plenty of water in the process
*Get plenty of sleep
*Let hair air dry
*Avoid using toxic chemicals or synthetic ingredients on hair and scalp, especially those that contain sulfates and parabens.
*Thankfully, we have a full line of healthy and natural body and hair care products available to us with our Young Living membership!
💈Other causes of hair loss include:
👉Hormonal changes due to pregnancy or post pregnancy
👉Too much vitamin A or selenium in a diet or supplement regimen.
👉Not enough protein in a diet
👉Genetics ( male or female pattern baldness)
👉A hormonal imbalance (including PCOS)
👉Low Iron, biotin, Vit D, or Zinc
👉Certain autoimmune diseases
👉A thyroid imbalance
👉Losing weight too quickly (also commonly happens after bariatric or metabolic surgeries)
👉Over processed or chemically exposed hair/scalp
👉A calcium to magnesium ratio imbalance. If the calcium to magnesium ratio is “heavy” on the calcium side in the body, calcification can occur in areas of the body (dangerously in blood vessels) including hair follicles. The calcification stifles hair growth and starves the area of nutrients. While calcium excess is stored in the body, magnesium is not. Additionally, there is a strong cry to “take calcium” to prevent osteoporosis, but rarely do we hear much about taking magnesium to prevent it. Too much calcium and not enough magnesium will eventually contribute to brittle bones. Not all magnesium supplements are created equal in terms of bioavailability. Thankfully, Young Living has done a masterful job of incorporating the right kinds of magnesium in supplements like Super Cal Plus , Master Formula, and the Kidscents Unwind!
Finally, there are many many medications that may cause hair loss:
💊Certain blood thinners such as warfarin and heparin
💊Beta blockers and ACE inhibitors (two classes of blood pressure meds)
💊Biologics (commonly used for certain autoimmune disorders) such as Humira, Amjevita, and Enbrel
💊NSAIDS (the longer the use, the more likely the hair loss)
💊Some antidepressants including Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro, and Wellbutrin
💊Anabolic steroids (leads to a hormone imbalance)
💊Metformin (depletes folate and B12 which are needed for hair growth)
💊Certain acne meds containing isotretinoin (a Vit A derivative… see above)
💊Antibiotics (long term use is especially problematic. The gut lining becomes damaged and nutrients required for hair growth are not absorbed properly)
💊Neurontin (commonly used for neuropathy)
💊Hormone therapy (including birth control pills)
💊Some acid reducers (including Tagamet and Pepcid)
💊Heavy metals and poisons including arsenic, thallium, and mercury
Certainly, hair loss may sometimes be out of our control, but there is much that can be done to mediate it, once the reason(s) has been identified! Thorough lab work including a full hormone panel, thyroid panel, and testing for nutritional deficiencies often provides solid evidence as to why a body’s northernmost real estate has become sparsely populated.
“Treat your hair like royalty. It’s the crown you never take off.”
👅Geographic tongue (erythema migrans) is a benign condition easily confused with lichen planus (an autoimmune disorder). A geographic tongue will be pink to reddish in color with slightly depressed lesions with irregular white or yellow borders. Geographic tongue usually has hereditary and environmental components (epigenetics!)….. meaning that environmental factors may intensify genetic expression.
Some of the more common environmental factors contributing to magnifying geographic tongue characteristics are endocrine disruptors (including birth control pills). Common endocrine disruptors include BPA (found in plastics), Phthalates (found in most mainstream beauty and skin care products), perchlorate (commonly found in tap water), PFC’s (used in nonstick cookware and fast food containers), and organophosphate pesticides.
Reading labels is a royal pain in the tushie, and all of these environmental toxins are not so nicely found everywhere despite having been banned in many other countries. Even if you are not predisposed to a geographic tongue, endocrine disruptors wreak havoc within all of us, and vigilance is needed. Scientists have pointed to all of these toxins as being key players in the more than 50% decline in fertility (for both men and women) in the USA in the last 30 years.
I am so thankful that Young Living has a full line of skin and body care products for both men and women, as well as gorgeous makeup (#SavvyMinerals) that is safe and free of hidden dangerous chemicals. I could stand on this toxic soapbox for hours, but let’s return to the tongue!
Geographic tongue is often a clue indicating a disposition towards psoriasis, reactive arthritis, allergies, and type I diabetes. That is not to say someone with a geographic tongue will definitely acquire one or more of these dis-ease states. Rather, it’s important to be aware of the possibility and do “all the things” to minimize the chance of acquiring a chronic autoimmune condition. Chronic stress can also magnify the characteristics of a geographic tongue.
👅A fissured tongue is notable for its deep furrows and cracks. Genetics and environmental factors also play a role. Tobacco use, and iron or B12 deficiency are common influencers of a fissured tongue. This particular tongue characteristic is also often seen in patients with psoriasis, Sjogren’s Syndrome, and other autoimmune disorders.
👅A swollen, inflamed tongue is sometimes seen in celiac disease (an autoimmune intolerance to gluten).
Did you notice a trend? Many of today’s tongue clues are tied to autoimmune disorders which ultimately are connected to gut health and environmental toxin exposure and it’s so very important to recognize clues and be proactive instead of reactive!
👅A “scalloped” tongue (ridges or teeth marks on the sides of the tongue) is indicative of fluid retention.
👅Tingling of the tongue may be a symptom of hypoglycemia.
👅 Tongue strength also reveals important clues! Is a person able to stick out his/her tongue, and if so, does it tremble? Remember, the tongue is a strong and very vascular bundle of muscles, much like the heart. Scientists have found that a quivering or trembling tongue is often indicative of a neurological disorder. A tongue quiver may also appear both before a stroke and as an aftermath of a vascular event.
👅As you look at your tongue for any tips or clues, make note of any unusual lumps, discoloration, or localized swelling or sores that do not go away, and contact your favorite health provider should you find something suspicious!
Caring for your tongue is similar to caring for your teeth. A fluoride free toothpaste (have you tried Young Living’s Thieves toothpaste?), oil pulling, and using a copper tongue scraper are all healthy ways to keep your tongue happy!