The 7:00 AM voicemail I received from my doctor’s office in 2013 scared the hell out of me and saved my life. I’ve never been one to go to the doctor for yearly checkups. Frankly, I was afraid of the medical system, but I had made the decision to empower myself and get a routine physical and mammogram. After my initial physical everything seemed fine. My doctor had ordered routine blood tests. They couldn’t do the blood draw that day because I hadn’t fasted. I hate needles and had an upcoming trip to Peru scheduled so I figured I’d do the blood draw after our pilgrimage. Wanting to follow through with my health promise, I completed my blood work upon my return. It was the following morning that I received the infamous 7:00 AM voicemail from the endocrinologist’s office. The voice in the message felt cold and uncaring. My anxiety was high and I was scared.
The tests revealed that I had (over-active) hyperthyroidism. Also, my cholesterol was high and my blood sugar was on the verge of type 2 diabetes. I was overweight and had become a diabesity (term used for an individual with or on the verge of diabetes and obese) statistic.
My doctor wanted to put me on a prescription that would help my thyroid, but I was told the medication would eventually burn it out, thus giving me a new diagnosis of hypothyroidism for the rest of my life. I was also supposed to undergo a procedure where dye would be pumped into my thyroid to see what was going on. I was told to lower my sugar intake, eat a healthier diet and exercise more. I was then told that we would deal with my diabetes when I got it.
What? It was in that moment that something deep inside of me took over. I felt like the Grinch whose heart grew two sizes larger except in my case I grew a set of proverbial balls. I said, “Why would I take something that will blow out my thyroid?” and “Do you realize you just diagnosed me with a chronic condition that I don’t even have?” I told my primary doctor and the endocrinologist that I was going to consult with a naturopathic doctor and that I would get better without such harsh treatment. Long story short, I spent the next 1.5 years learning how to take care of myself. I think the whole clinic heard me shouting when I received a clean bill of health. What surprised me was that my doctor scratched her head at my recovery, but not once did she say, “What did you do to get healthy?” For the record, I believe there is a place for Western medicine, but I also believe too many of us rely on pills instead of doing the work to truly heal ourselves from the inside out.
It was during my wellness journey that I learned what inflammation and autoimmune disorders were. Years of stress, improper diet, and lack of exercise were all contributing factors.
What is inflammation? It’s much more than a swollen ankle or pimple or anything else that can be cured with ice or over-the-counter medication. For many of us there’s another kind of inflammation that’s wreaking havoc throughout our entire body. According to Women’s Health Magazine, chronic inflammation is a slow, silent disturbance that never shuts off you can find out more. You can’t feel it. You can’t be tested for it. Yet it has become a medical hot topic.
”More and more research shows that chronic inflammation is involved in heavy-hitting illnesses” says integrative medicine specialist Frank Lipman, M.D., director of the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York City, “It’s an underlying cause for many, many diseases.” cialis generico italiano
Inflammation may be the root cause of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, depression, allergies, and autoimmune diseases such as arthritis or fibromyalgia. Think of it this way: your immune system’s job is to be the first line of defense against any kind of harm. Armies of white blood cells attack to destroy infections such as viruses or bacteria. With inflammation, misguided white blood cells deploy as if you were sick, but with no infection they hang around in your body for a long time. This type of faulty-signal activity can begin damaging your internal organs. These white blood cells needlessly attack healthy cells. Basically, our body begins an assault on itself.
Top Triggers of Inflammation
- Overweight/Obesity-When we gain weight our fat cells enlarge. Our body gets confused by the added stress and sends out a signal to the immune system that may cause white blood cells to attack the fat cells. What’s more disturbing is that unneeded white blood cells may start leaking into the bloodstream, eventually aggravating the liver. A high-sugar, high-trans-fat, high-processed-carb, GMO, pesticide filled diet is a main contributor. generic viagra faq
- Living an Overstressed Life-Chronic busyness, trying to make ends meet financially, grief, changing jobs, divorce, death, and every day expectations of life leave many individuals feeling stressed, anxious, and depressed. The same parts of our brain that sense pain are also activated by social stress according to George Slavich, Ph.D, a researcher in psychoneuroimmunology at the University of California at Los Angeles.
- Toxins in our Environment– Our world is overloaded with toxins including: smog, pesticides, chemicals used to make clothing, carpets, vehicles, cigarettes, alcohol, etc. It is almost impossible to become toxin free.
The Link Between Inflammation and Autoimmune Disease
What is an autoimmune disorder? According to WebMD, immune system disorders cause abnormally low activity or over activity of the immune system. In cases of immune system over activity, the body attacks and damages its own tissues (autoimmune diseases). Immune deficiency diseases decrease the body’s ability to fight invaders, causing vulnerability to infections. Below is a list of autoimmune disorders. This list was shocking to me when I first learned about it.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Systemic Lupus
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Guillain-Barre Syndrome
- Grave’s Disease (Hyperthyroidism) buy online viagra india
- Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (Hypothyroidism)
- Myasthenia Gravis
As we age, we too often, believe that joint pain, arthritis, stomach upset, diabetes, and obesity are simply a part of the aging process. This does not have to be the case. It’s time for us as a society to start advocating for our health. It’s also about understanding how our bodies work and that we have the capacity to heal ourselves.
Eight Tips for a Healthier Immune System and Digestive Tract
- Eat Omega-3 Fats-These are great for your heart and nervous system and are labeled the “good” fats. These can be found in salmon, sardines, chia seeds, and flax seeds. I take a liquid fish oil every morning to insure I get enough of this precious oil. Studies have shown an increase in memory and focus as an added bonus.
- Eat Fruits and Veggies-This is a no-brainer, folks. We all know this and yet, it’s this food group that is usually neglected. Eat the rainbow, meaning you should eat a variety of food including: strawberries, squash, lemons, kale, blueberries, plums and eggplant. Eat foods that are in season. Not only does the food taste better, but it’s more cost effective. There are thousands of amazing vegetable and fruit recipes on the web. Whip up a fruit smoothie in the blender. Throw in some spinach leaves. You won’t taste the spinach, but you will feel like you’re drinking a sweet treat. Eat organic as much as possible. Healthy food can taste good.
- Grains & Carbs-Listen to your body as far as carbohydrates go. Some do well, others not so much. If you decide to eat carbs choose wisely. Grains such as quinoa, buckwheat groats, oats, and gluten free options are the best. Stay away from refine processed foods.
- Enjoy Your Food-We live in a world of all or nothing. Try to follow the 80/20 rule. Make healthier choices 80% of the time and you’ll be on your way to feeling more vibrant and having more energy within a few weeks.
- Move Your Body-I hesitate to use the word exercise because I’d like you to think about movement as a way of life and not something that you have to do. What excites you? Get out and walk, dance, ride a bike, practice yoga, garden, etc. Exercise can be moderate. The old days of the “no pain, no gain” motto doesn’t have to be the case. New research is showing that walking longer at a more moderate pace is just as beneficial if not more beneficial than speed walking for shorter periods.
- Stabilize Your Mood-Lowering stress and anxiety can lessen inflammation. Choose what works for you. Whether you seek Western medical treatment, take the more natural path or a do a combination of both, all have the potential to help. Take time for yourself and learn how to say “no.” Realize you will never get it all done, so do what you can and know the rest can wait for another day. Laughter is one of the best ways to boost your immune system. It’s easy and free.
- Believe in Yourself-Nothing is more powerful than believing in you. It’s important to eat healthy, move your body, establish a plan with your doctor, and lower your stress, but when you believe you can feel better, the healing process speeds up ten-fold. Dr. Joe Dispenza recently released a book titled You Are the Placebo where he gives many examples of evidence-based research outlining the power our thoughts have over our ability to heal. Seriously powerful stuff and it’s nice to give the brain something to chew on while the body does its work. effets cialis 5mg
- Have Patience-It takes time to make lasting changes in our lives. We are creatures of habit. Start with one small change. Don’t deprive yourself. Instead, begin by adding something in whether it be a new food, movement, short meditation, etc. Don’t be afraid to experiment to see what works for you. Don’t believe everything you read or hear. Listen to your gut and then give something new a road test. Remember there is no such thing as perfection or failure. If we never try anything new, we’ll never find out what we like and dislike.
You don’t have to settle with achy joints, a rumbling gut, diabetes, obesity or any other chronic illness as your lot in life because you’re getting older. You have the capacity to feel better during the second half of your life than you did in the first half. Do your research, stay curious, and advocate for yourself. You’re worth it. what age do you have to be to get viagra
What small change can you commit to this week? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.
Have a Boomin’ week.
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