Bioidentical Hormone Restorative Therapy (BHRT) – Let’s Start At The Beginning.

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Not All Hormones Are Prescribed Equally

Not all hormone therapies that are prescribed and taken are created equally. HRT and BHRT are two very different therapies.

Unfortunately, all hormones in any form are considered a controversial topic. This, of course, would be due to the outcome of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study which was halted ahead of schedule, in 2002, after it was found that HRT (hormone replacement therapy), a combo drug of synthetic oestrogens and progestins commonly known as PremPro, increased the risk of both heart disease and breast cancer.

Since the WHI study, both synthetic and bioidentical hormones have been bundled together as ‘bad’ and disease-causing.

This, of course, is totally untrue.

The Importance Of Understanding The Difference Between HRT And BHRT

It is important for everyone to understand the difference between these two forms of hormonal therapies – synthetic and bioidentical – and to have the correct information, otherwise, we will never get over this misconception of bad meets bad.

The major difference between bioidentical hormones and synthetic hormones is that synthetic hormones (HRT) set-up new reactions in the body that it is unfamiliar with. In short, they declare war with our physiology (in other words, body-balance and health); they mess with it! This is largely due to the fact that they are synthetic and the body and brain cannot quite get around that fact. The body/brain set-up gets confused when something ‘non-natural’ is put into it.

The body doesn’t produce synthetic hormones, never has done, and never will do. I am wondering why then, should we replace our declining hormones with alien or counterfeit ones – ones that have never ever existed in the body? And ones that have been seen to create detrimental and lethal health issues. It just doesn’t make sense. Instead, we should be restoring the missing hormones with bioidentical ones, identical to those produced in the body. Ones that do not cause health issues but rather enhance our health.

Bioidentical hormones restore normal physiological pathways with optimal body response. In other words, they work, they make us feel well. They calm our symptoms’, and at the same time slow the ageing process. They create harmony within the body – not disharmony! That is because the body/brain set-up understands them with great ease.

Hormones – The Human Network of Health

Hormones are miracle molecules that are naturally produced (endogenous) in the body and keep us alive and functioning. They are precious – we have been blessed with them. If we want to remain healthy, vibrant, positive and young, we need to keep them in the body at the correct levels and ratios.

With age, our hormones decline. When hormones decline, our health, both physical and mental, also declines, leaving us in a weak position. Maintaining optimal hormone levels is key to keeping us young, beautiful and sexy. And it is the most independent factor for a healthy, strong and vibrant immune system. And for keeping our hearts, brains, bones, joints, and bodies functioning correctly…at optimal.

Hormone ratios are very important to body health and maintenance. It’s not just the levels of hormones that counts but the ratios between these hormones. Hormones ratios such as oestrogens to progesterone and cortisol to DHEA, which greatly impact our health.

Hormones are messaging machines that interact with each other to literally form ‘a human network of health’ – they are, in fact, what helps us ‘keep it all together’! With a decline, we begin to fall apart slowly but surely. This is when the first signs or symptoms of ageing become apparent: withered, wrinkled and thinning skin; loss of muscle tone; weight gain; low sex drive; low mood; aching joints – these are just a few from a long list of health issues that occur with a hormonal decline. Menopause, in truth, is the beginnings of the ageing process, like it or not. This, of course, is also valid for men – they don’t get away scot-free either. They suffer hormonal decline just as we do, but in a slower and more gentle way.

When we restore declining hormone levels with bioidentical ones, we ‘keep it all together’, slow the ageing process, hold off chronic disease, and regain and/or maintain our health. It is never too early to start – the sooner, the better. We now have an option.

Let’s Take a Look at Bioidentical Hormones

Bioidentical hormones are an exact copy of the hormones produced in the body, they act and are read by the body exactly as our own. They come from soya and wild yam, and other plant extracts that are biosynthesised in a lab to become an exact copy of the human hormone. We are so lucky to have these miraculous molecules within our reach these days.

They are life-giving molecules that protect and enhance our declining and maturing health. They do not challenge the body in any shape or form – they are safe and efficient when prescribed by an expert doctor. BHRT, if not followed and prescribed correctly, can be just as detrimental as synthetic hormones. It is important to find a doctor qualified in this sub-speciality. Always check him/her out! Ask where and who trained them.

Bioidentical hormones aid us in ageing with style, grace, vibrancy and energy, and in maintaining that easy movement of youth. That clarity of thinking, sexuality, sensuality, and zest. What more could you ask for? When we are healthy, feel and look good, each stage of life is wonderful.

I admit, there is no magic bullet for the so-called ‘fountain of youth’ but, if I were to tell you that bioidentical hormones were also the golden key to better sex, a leaner body and a more youthful skin, would you believe me? You’d better! Typically, women taking bioidentical hormones look and act 10 to 15 years younger than women who don’t. And did I mention weight loss and thicker hair too?

For Your Information

If you have read my book, “The Menopause Cure – Hormonal Health”, and/or checked out my website, you will have understood why it is important to restore your body with bioidentical hormones. And the huge benefits these natural molecules provide. Life is fun again!

If you are looking for a qualified BHRT doctor click this link,drop our team a message or email us – we’re ready to help.

Your health is our priority.

To Your Health 🙂 xx

How Probiotics Boost Immunity, Protect Your Intestinal Tract and Improve Brain Function

The Question Is…Does Menopause Ever End?

MatureHealthyFemale_lying on bedIn short, NO! The menopause never ends. It’s just the beginning.

It always astounds me when I hear women say, “I’m over the menopause.” That’s because in reality, the menopause never ends. It’s just the beginning.

Yes, the more disruptive symptoms, such as hot flushes/flashes, mood swings, weight gain, depression, sleep disorders, and others, do subside as our body adapts to the new hormonal environment (one of low hormone production). Incredible but true – our body adapts to this situation. But the more serious and deleterious issues just keep on chugging along. What do I mean by that?

Let’s take a look.

The Three Stages of Change

There are three phases of menopause, hmm…maybe four if we count premenopause (before perimenopause and menopause! 🙂 ) When we are still considered to be in our reproductive years.

All three have a name because all three exist.

Perimenopause

Perimenopause is the ‘symptom stage’ where we get all cranky and become another person really. Or the majority of us do anyway. Not the person we used to be. We don’t feel good. This is the stage in which our body is suffering from a sudden and drastic loss of female hormones. Our body is now in a hormonal revolt and is determined to let us know by way of symptoms.

Basically, our body is in hormonal-starvation-mode, it is suffering withdrawal symptoms. The body needs its hormones back to allow us to function correctly and rid us of all those life-destroying issues. And to allow us to return to the ‘us’ we once were.

This is when we should start thinking about embarking on a programme of bioidentical hormones restorative therapy (BHRT). Imagine the peaceful and symptom-free life you would have!

Perimenopause usually lasts from 5 to 10 years, starting at about age 45. This is an approximation of course. It can start before, last longer or start later and finish sooner. Everyone is different.

Menopause

Menopause is the, ‘you no longer have a period and haven’t had one for over 12 months. 1 year, in other words’, stage. And where your symptoms start to ease. Our body is becoming used to living without hormones. It has adapted, even if it doesn’t want to, it has to.

When we are born, we are born with 1 to 2 million undeveloped eggs in our ovaries and, by the time we reach puberty and start menstruating, approximately only 300,000 immature egg cells (or follicles) remain. Following this, an average of 600 follicles die per month, which are not replaced. By the time we reach menopause, there are no eggs left. As eggs are the main producer of female hormones, this is why we slowly become deficient (in female hormones).

Menopause means the end of our reproductive life as we know it. You can no longer make babies. We have no eggs left and without eggs there will be no oestrogen production and consequently, this leads to no more progesterone production either.

Believe it or not the brain doesn’t like this scenario, it likes to think we are still reproductive. Yes, it may sound crazy but it’s true. The brain gets confused and thinks we are of no use anymore. It believes we are only here to reproduce. Biologically speaking we are here to perpetuate the species (of course, we know better :)). We know we still have a lot to give. Unfortunately, though, the brain isn’t convinced about this. Luckily, we can now do something about it…we have an option. BHRT is that option.

Bioidentical hormones, ‘the miracle molecule’, help reset the brain into thinking all is well again. They kind of trick the brain. Life will continue as before, or maybe even better than before! Even if we are no longer capable of making babies. Hormones nourish the brain and the body and keep it working at optimal.

Post-menopause

So what happens after menopause, when symptoms of perimenopause have subsided and we no longer have a period? Does this mean the menopause has ended, that everything goes back to normal and life just starts all over again? Was the perimenopause just a hiccup? Was menopause just a message telling us we could no longer reproduce? Not exactly.

Yes, it is true that the majority of menopausal women find that symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, sleeping difficulties, mood swings, etc are transitory. And last only as long as it takes the body to adapt to the lower hormone levels. But don’t kid yourself, the menopause is not over. There are other menopausal health issues that are happening within the body. We are talking post-menopause here.

In fact, more important and permanent changes such as drying and thinning skin and vaginal membranes, dry eyes, foggy memory and a decreased urinary tract tone, to name a few, are the next step in this body-change. Basically, this is your body breaking down, sad to say but true. This is your body talking to you. You need to listen to it and take action. We do have a choice now, an alternative…an option!

As time passes, other developments such as heart disease, osteoporosis, cholesterol disorders, cancers, diabetes, and cognitive problems all become more apparent. All of these health issues are known as age-related diseases. They are related to ageing and hormonal loss. Our repair molecules are missing. Hormones play a critical role in repair and regeneration because they are the most comprehensive messaging machine in the human body.

They are the human network of health. They are what keep us in one piece. They are what make us work. With missing or low levels we will feel it. In truth, low hormone levels put an enormous stress on the entire body. Imagine putting petrol in a diesel car…same concept. It won’t work very well. Chug chug! Then it grinds to a halt.

With low hormone levels the body cannot repair or regenerate itself as fast as it once did, and certainly, will not function properly. It will start to ‘chug’ and slow. You see this every day on the streets. Just compare a young woman of 20, in her prime, to a woman of 50, then to a mature woman of 80. Do you notice the ‘chug syndrome’?

This is what happens to the body post-menopause. You don’t feel it like you feel the initial symptoms in perimenopause because it’s moving so slowly, but the body is giving us other indicators now. Your body is struggling. It’s running on low. It’s in breakdown mode.

I am not saying that bioidentical hormones stop us from ageing totally, we all age and we all die. But they definitely slow and ease the ageing process. We age more gracefully. They make us feel and look good. They help us avoid unnecessary pain and discomfort. We can choose how we want to age. In illness or in health. We can hold back age-related and chronic diseases…honest we can. We now have a new template for change. Let’s embrace this change, this new way of ageing. We no longer have to accept the traditional way of ageing, we CAN make ageing good.

We can choose whether to take bioidentical hormones or not. They are truly the key to optimal health and optimal ageing.

Please don’t kid yourself that the menopause ends. Just because your symptoms have subsided does not mean you are no longer in menopause. In fact, as you’ve now understood, you are seriously in menopause…big time. The trick is to keep your body, brain and immune system strong. All of which bioidentical hormones do.

Why am I telling you this?

Why? Because I truly want to help you understand that we DO NOT have to sit quietly and suffer the symptoms of menopause, or in the long-term, the consequences of post-menopause (body breakdown), which brings with it turmoil and the age-related diseases mentioned above, and many many others.

When we restore our hormones we can avoid the symptoms of perimenopause, curb chronic disease, and slow the ageing process. Isn’t that just great. This is for real. I know it myself. I see and feel it every day. I could not live without my hormones. I am vibrant, energetic, focused, positive, happy, sensual, sexy, and enjoy the things in life I always did.

I am sixty-one this year but my biological age is 45 years. How’s that for trumps? I have been on bioidentical hormones for more than 12 years now. I love my life! Embracing BHRT was the best thing I ever did. I am happy and look forward to even better things to come every single day.

I am straight and upright, not bent and crooked. My body is strong, and my mind is the best it has ever been. I am living the optimal life. You can too.

My last tip of the day

If you are considering taking bioidentical hormones (BHRT) make sure you go to an expert. Hormones are safe and work efficiently when prescribed by an expert doctor. BHRT, if not followed and prescribed correctly, can be just as detrimental as synthetic hormones. It is important to find a doctor qualified in this sub-speciality. Always check him/her out! Ask where and who trained them.
Bioidentical hormones aid us in ageing with style, grace, vibrancy and energy, and in maintaining that easy movement of youth. That clarity of thinking, sexuality, sensuality, and zest. What more could you ask for? When we are healthy, feel and look good, each stage of life is wonderful.

For Your Information
If you would like a more in-depth look at menopause, how your body works and exactly what BHRT is check out my book, “The Menopause Cure – Hormonal Health”. I know you’ll enjoy it. It’s an easy read and life changing. Live your life to the fullest.
If you are looking for a qualified BHRT doctor click this link, or drop our team a message or email us – we’re here to guide you.

Your health is our priority.

To Your Health 🙂

Jill xx

Autoimmune Disease Explained

orangeimmunecells bursting outThe relationship between autoimmune disease and immune resilience.

These are very delicate times we are facing, especially with our health. And more specifically, because the coronavirus virus (COVID -19) has hit hard. To make things a little more clearer, we really need to understand the relationship between autoimmune disease and immune resilience. This, at least, may help people with autoimmune diseases feel a little more secure about the whole COVID-19 situation.

So, autoimmunity… and why does the body attack itself?

In my previous blogs I talked about immune tolerance and immune resilience. However, it’s important to understand that having an autoimmune disease doesn’t mean to say it will weaken immune resilience. But we’ll get to that later. First, let’s look at what autoimmunity really is.

Autoimmunity, to describe it in medical terms, is a disorder where the immune system erroneously destroys and attacks body tissue. Put simply, it is the immune system going slightly crazy (it’s gone into ‘tilt mode’) and mistakenly eats, destroys, and attacks body tissue. As an example, Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, where the body mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland; or rheumatoid arthritis, where the body mistakenly attacks the joints. Other examples of autoimmunity are type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, alopecia, vitiligo, etc.

Under normal circumstances the immune system is able to tell the difference between foreign (nonself)cells and your own (self) cells. And protect against germs like bacteria and viruses, sending or releasing, an army of fighter cells, natural killer cells, etc, to attack the foreign invader.

When we look at autoimmune disease, however, the immune system erroneously thinks parts of the body, such as the thyroid, joints, skin, etc, are foreign. Your immune system is in ‘tilt mode’, and sends out, or releases autoantibodies that then attack healthy cells.


How does autoimmunity affect your chances of contracting an illness – viral, bacterial or otherwise?

Well, that depends. When we talk about autoimmune disease and immune resilience we need to look at how well your immune function is working in relation to your autoimmunity. To put it another way, different people may have the same autoimmune disease but either a higher or lower immune state. And in fact, autoimmunity can either heighten or dampen immune resilience.

As an example, some people with Hashimoto’s may have a high white blood count and some a low white blood count. Some may have different levels of natural killer cells, T-cell regulation, and B-cell activity, etc. Everyone is different, just because you have the same autoimmune disease doesn’t mean your immune status will be the same!

What this means is some people with autoimmunity alone may have a heightened immune status, meaning they have a high immune resilience. One way to tell if your immune resilience is strong is if you haven’t caught a cold or flu over the last 5 years or so. Even when, at the same time, heightened immune activity may exacerbate autoimmune attacks against bodily tissues. This may seem a little complicated but really it isn’t. A good way to look at it is, we should think of autoimmunity and the immune resilience as two functioning processes that can harm us or protect us. Autoimmunity is a disease which harms us, whereas immune resilience, which can be built or broken depending on your lifestyle habits. When immune resilience is strong we will be less likely to catch get ill. And less prone to chronic disease.

Do people with autoimmunity need to be cautious when taking botanicals?

Well, yes and no!

Let me explain. Because autoimmunity instigates such a diversity of immune responses in each and everyone of us that have it, we need to think before we start taking any herbs, medicinal mushrooms, or other botanicals that can influence the immune system. Of course, it is always best to speak with a qualified functional/restorative doctor before commencing any regime.

If we take a look at the immune-stimulating botanicals such as echinacea or maitake mushrooms in some autoimmune people, they can fire up the immune system and make their autoimmune symptoms even worse. Again, botanicals that actually delay or slow immune response, such as antibody production, can also make autoimmune people worse. We need to be very careful here. Talk to your qualified functional/restorative physician or doctor.

The best way to modulate the Immune system and improve resilience with autoimmunity

So, let’s cut to the chase. If you are one of those people who finds it difficult to balance your immune system, or measure chronic disease, your lifestyle picture should be looked at. As mentioned in my previous blog they make a world of difference. These lifestyle strategies include:

Of course, there are many other healthy lifestyle habits you can take on which help balance immune function. But just start off slowly and you’ll see, you’ll get there. The key is to understand how important your life is…and your health. We only get one shot at this, and we only have one body. You can’t buy a new one, it’s not like a car or fancy dress. Take care of yourself and learn to love yourself. Remember you are the best thing that ever happened to you 🙂

You can find previous blogs here:

Healthy Immune System – Healthy You

The Immune Reset

To your health

Jill:) xx

Why Are You Not Taking Bioidentical Hormones?

Peri_wordswhite abckgrouI often ask myself why every menopausal woman (including perimenopausal and postmenopausal women), isn’t on bioidentical hormones. A therapy known as bioidentical hormone restorative therapy (BHRT). To me it is a phenomenon that just doesn’t fit. Something is wrong here. I’m perplexed, considering the immense benefits they can give you, both short-term and long-term.

Is it because they don’t know enough about this therapy? Is it because they’ve been conned into thinking it is dangerous or, that they just don’t work. Of course they work!

Could it be because they have never heard of them before? It is true that we don’t often hear people, including doctors, debating or talking about bioidentical hormones in Europe. And when we do it’s usually negative, strangely enough. Even if it has existed for over 30 years in America.

That’s basically a long-term study right there for you. We need studies to give us scientific proof, facts, and truths. Long-term studies are the best for bringing out the truth and to see if the subject in question is valid or not, whether it be a medicine or a plastic implant for joints. This long-term study on BHRT, that I put before you is definitely a resounding YES! It works. And how it works!

To give you a better understanding of bioidentical hormones, and body physiology, let’s take a quick look.

Hormone Decline

Hormones decline with age, starting at about age 30. The decline is slow until we reach about 40ish, let’s say 45, where the majority of women enter menopause. And where there is a sudden and drastic drop in female hormones. This phase is known as perimenopause, and usually lasts from 5 to 10 years. Perimenopause is where women begin to suffer symptoms, due to the hormonal decline, such as hot flushes/flashes, mood swings, brain fog, aching joints, sleepless nights, weight gain, and many more, that I am sure you are all aware of.

When our hormones decline many women lose themselves…or at least I did. I was no longer the person I had once been. I lost my lust for life, my positivity, my stamina and Jill herself. She was gone. She has of course since returned, and better than ever. Thanks to BHRT.

When there is a hormonal imbalance, havoc erupts within the body and trouble begins. Basically, when hormones decline it creates problems within the endocrine system (where hormones are made) and follows on to other body systems, including immune, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems. You may have noticed you don’t digest foods as easily as you once did. That’s a sign (or even symptom)…listen to it!

If you want to be healthy, both physically and mentally, and continue to be healthy you need to optimise and balance hormone levels so as to support optimal physiology. Hormones are vital for repair and are the most powerful agent in the regulation of optimal physiology. Physiology simply refers to a healthy, well-functioning body and mind.

What Your Local GP Usually Has to Say

When symptoms occur and perimenopause hits, women usually go to their local GP and ask if they are in menopause…of course you are. Your age suggests it and your symptoms are telling you you are.

Your GP will most likely offer you HRT (synthetic), antidepressants, and sleeping tablets. Pat you on the back and tell you, all will be ok, and that it will pass. Hmmm…I’m not so sure about that! In fact, it doesn’t pass, hormonal decline only gets worse.

Your symptoms will pass once your body has adapted to its new hormonal environment…low hormone production. But hormonal decline doesn’t go away unless you do something about it…like restore them. It only gets worse. We are now moving towards total degradation and chronic disease, but that’s for another discussion.

Your symptoms by the way, are actually withdrawal symptoms, due to lack of hormones (hormonal decline). It’s a hormonal revolt. It only makes sense the body is going to suffer if it is missing the major messaging molecule. Yes, hormones are our messaging machine. They make us or they break us, simple as that.

Bioidentical Hormones And What They Can Do For You

What are bioidentical hormones? Why are they so good…GREAT really?

Bioidentical hormones are biologically identical to the hormones that are produced in our body. They are identical in molecular structure – hormone replicas. They come from soya, wild yam and other plant extracts. This is one of the reasons they are so well accepted by the body (because they are exact in structure), and therefore, can be used just as our own hormones, for regeneration and repair.

Importantly, they make us feel great…fantastic in fact. They give us our life back. They are miracle-molecules. They nurture the brain and feed the body. One way of looking at it is, they are the body’s endogenous (made in the body) food. When perimenopause is upon us we are in hormonal- starvation mode. Do we really need this when we can restore them so easily?

Hormones are the essence of life itself. They regulate every bodily function: sleep, growth, blood pressure, heartbeat, breathing,– without them we would simply die. They control muscle tone, build bone, make us fat or thin, maintain correct levels of sugar in the blood and tissue, control women’s menstrual cycles, make men males, rule the passage of time and the voyage into menopause.

They make us happy or sad, they make us cry or laugh, they are us. They give us beautiful skin, nails and hair or vice versa. When hormones decline our skin begins to wrinkle and sag before its time. Hair loses its shine and thickness, and nails start to crack and become brittle, or even become soft. That is just a few examples for you.


Hormones and Immune System Support

Another major benefit of optimal hormone levels is they support our immune system and its function. When hormones decline so does our immune system.

We are the ones that make the choices which strengthen or weaken our immune system. Our immune system is the protector of our health and vitality, which enables us to feel good both physically and emotionally. If our immune system is weak we are less able to handle stress and more susceptible to illnesses. When our immune system is suppressed over a long period, we are definitely more likely to suffer from far more serious diseases such as breast cancer, arthritis, autoimmune diseases and more. I am protecting my protector. You? A major component of having a strong immune system is restoring hormone levels.

In short, without optimal levels of hormones our body slows down and becomes inefficient. We then deteriorate at a great rate and age at a faster speed.

Why do that to yourself?

Take this opportunity to live your best life.

If you would like to know more please read my book, “The Menopause Cure – Hormonal Health

To your health

Jill

The Immune Reset

Hand Blocking Green Immune Cells Bursting out from Black background

5 Ways to support immune resilience and improve immune tolerance.

Click here if you missed my previous blog about immune tolerance and immune resilience. And where we spoke about how important it is to strengthen immune tolerance (when it is low) in order to support immune resilience, which in turn promotes a healthy, well-functioning immune system.

Below are the five lifestyle strategies I mentioned in my previous blog, that we need to follow to strengthen immune system health. And to make your life and heart full again. To make you healthy and strong. Here’s to a happy, healthy life. Of course, there are other strategies you can do as well, but these are your starters.

  • Good sleep
  • Proper diet and nutrition
  • Hydration
  • Physical activity at appropriate levels
  • Emotions

Good Sleep

One of the most neglected and misunderstood strategies to improve immune function, immune resilience and to avoid infections is good sleep. Certain immune system cells (natural killer cells and T-cells) that are used to fight infection are boosted and activated when we sleep. When we sleep the body repairs itself and we are at peace. When we wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start the day, it’s a sign that we have had adequate sleep. When we are grumpy and bumpy, groggy and cranky, that’s a sure sign we didn’t get enough sleep. The day ahead will be long. Adequate sleep is fundamental to a well-working immune system and immune resilience.

Go to bed early. Try to sleep at least 7 hours a night. It is well known that people who sleep less than 7 hours are more prone to heart attack. And 90 minutes before bedtime, turn off all devices and televisions. Let your mind breath…and relax. I know it’s easy to say go to bed early when all you want to do is watch some television or stay on your computer because you feel as if your day has been all work and no play. It seems unfair. But start off by doing it a few nights a week, try reading a book in bed for ten minutes to relax and wind down. You’ll soon see that you’ll get into the habit of it, and start feeling much better.

Remember that there is not a single tissue within the human body and not one process within the brain that is not enhanced with adequate sleep (minimum 7hrs per night), or in the other case, impaired without enough sleep (less than 6hrs per night).

Proper Diet and Nutrition

What is nutrition, is it simply food that fills us up without giving us any health benefits, or is it food that is overflowing with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, etc, that helps us grow, develop, renew, and stay healthy? You guessed it, it’s the latter.

If you look the word nutrition up in the oxford dictionary, it is the “process by which living things (including humans ) 🙂 receive the food necessary for them to grow and be healthy.” Without good nutrition we cannot possibly be healthy and we cannot possibly have a robust immune system.

This, I believe, is what most people in today’s world don’t understand. The foods we eat build us up or tear us down. They build our immune system and push hormone production – hormones, in turn, support a healthy and robust immune system and really improve our immune surveillance…killer cells at work!

So what should we do? Firstly, we need to cut out processed sugars, and concentrated sugars from your diet. That would include concentrated fruit juices, sweets, boiled sugar sweets, candy, etc. Anything that has a high amount of concentrated sugar in it needs to disappear from your diet. Plus they are empty calories that don’t provide you with any nutrition, at all!

We need to eat lots of colourful and varied fruit and vegetables which are high in flavonoid antioxidants, which really help our overall immune system strength. Another major helper is to diversify our microbiome. In other words, we want to have as many different healthy bacterial species in our gut. A healthy gut is essential for a healthy immune system. In fact, believe it or not, approximately 80% of our immune system is found in the gut. Eat multiple kinds of vegetables, but try to change the vegetable you eat. Don’t eat the same fruit and vegetable all the time…change them, this way you will really improve your immune resistance, by improving your gut microbiome.

Last but not least cut out inflammatory foods. Avoid such things as fried foods, processed foods, high floury carbohydrates (eg pasta, breads, pizzas), which cause insulin surges, make you tired (it’s the insulin surge that makes you tired), and they also deplete antioxidant reserves.

Also, avoid partially hydrogenated fats which deplete our antioxidant reserves – they usually come in packets or boxes. Read the labels on the foods you buy.

HYDRATION

Hydration…what is hydration? Again, in the Oxford dictionary hydration means, “The process of making something/somebody take in and hold water.” Water is the key word!. Drink lots of water throughout the day…drinking tea, coffee and alcohol can actually worsen the ‘hydration situation’ as these beverages act as diuretics, so we basically become dehydrated just from that. Please drink water and avoid sugary drinks. Another key to building immune resilience is to stay hydrated all the time. Don’t let yourself get thirsty.

When we are dehydrated the immune system goes into default, and we become more prone to infections. The immune system dysregulates and, interaction and communication (yes our immune system communicates…it talks to our body 🙂 ), and immune signalling becomes compromised. In other words, when we are dehydrated the immune system becomes less efficient. Another thing, dehydration impacts blood volume and can cause miscommunication (yes our body is talking again) between the lymphatic system and the immune system.

If you have an infection or feel you are about to get one, you definitely need to stay hydrated and drink (water!) all the time, as this helps clear the infection quicker.

Of course, you need to cut down on salt intake if you want to stay hydrated. High salt intake makes you urinate more often to try and get rid of the sodium and regulate osmotic pressure.

Physical activity at appropriate levels

Although this might sound strange the immune system communicates throughout the whole body – it has to, to enable us to have optimal immune function, and optimal immune resilience. So, throughout our body and throughout the trillions of cells we have in the body, we have different types of immune cells, from macrophage to antigen-presenting cells. What these cells do is test and sample whatever is coming into the immune system…so when a pathogen, viral, bacterial or other microorganism that causes disease, comes in, they check it out by sending an immune messenger. When a pathogen is detected they (immune cells) let the immune system know that it now needs to manufacture antibodies to protect it from this pathogen. T cells now need to switch on and our natural killer cells need to attack and deal with this infection. To achieve the best immune response this message has to reach the whole body as quickly as possible.

To quicken this process movement of any kind is important…but how much movement, when and how?

Movement promotes better blood flow, circulation, and lymphatic exchange of fluids. When you increase your heart rate, the blood flow and circulation enhances and when you pump those weights, and release and contract, it helps the lymphatic system to work more efficiently, and move fluids throughout the body at a greater speed. If you want to improve, support and/or build overall immune function, it is critical that you do some kind of movement/motion. However, the question is how much?

If you are healthy and have no immune challenges, strenuous exercise is fine, and can actually help release opioids, which have an incredible impact on immune cells like T cells, natural killer cells, and B cells, which of course, will strengthen immune system function and make it much more able to respond to any type of pathogen appropriately.

Instead, if you have an infection and are fatigued it’s best to slow down. Take it easy. High, intense exercise burns up antioxidants and reserves, which will really dampen our immune system. If you are not feeling too good or getting sick a brisk walk is just as good, it’s important not to fatigue yourself. Even a slow walk will activate your lymphatics and immune system function.

So, the key thing here is…

Any kind of movement, whether it’s high intensity or a gentle walk in the park, are critical to vascular dynamics (blood flow and exchange), to help push immune messengers throughout our body. If you want to improve your immune resilience and support tolerance, exercise, movement and motion are critical factors.

Emotions (Laughing and crying)

Really? Yes, really. These emotions can greatly impact immune resilience which help us to fight off infections and be less susceptible to infections that are going around.

Laughing actually triggers a release of opioids, that is of course, why we feel so relaxed and happy after a good laugh. As mentioned previously, opioids greatly impact immune system function by activating key cells such as T cells, natural killer cells and regulatory T cells that help the immune system to be more efficient in dealing with any type of pathogen. So, remember to laugh a lot and watch comedy films rather than tragedy. Laughing can have a profound impact on the immune system. ‘Be Happy – Laugh More – Stay Healthy’.

So what about crying? Hmm! Crying, believe it or not, this also helps us release opioids. For instance, in a critical situation or a crisis many of us cry. If you think about it we feel better after we’ve cried…it seems to relieve us somehow. When we start to cry opioids are released to act as a safeguard, and help dampen stress. In short, they help protect us from dealing with the stressor, which impacts the immune system.

So even crying significantly impacts the immune system by way of opioid release. Think about this next time you want to cry…just cry…and Be Happy!

I know we are all resistant to change, and yes, old habits die hard. But it’s your health we are talking about…it’s your life and the quality of it, no one else’s. Try these changes and see how it can change your life and your health. And if it helps to motivate you…these changes may even help you lose weight.

However, remember rebuilding a strong immune system doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time. You need to be consistent…you need to stick with it. Make yourself a New Years resolution, even if it’s not New Year…who needs New Year to make a new resolution? Start now and your summer will be off to a super start. Remember, the longer you leave your immune system to breakdown the longer it will take to repair.

To Your Health

Jill 🙂

Healthy Immune system – Healthy You

I just wanted to touch base and explain a little about our immune system and how important it is to our health. Especially in these difficult times.

I actually believe the coronavirus (COVID-19) has been a wakeup call for us all. And maybe, just maybe it has helped us understand who we really are, and not only… Maybe it has also helped us to understand how important a well-functioning body and immune system really is. To have a well-functioning body we need a strong immune system.

When we talk about the COVID-19 virus we are entering into uncharted waters, however, many top doctors have suggested that a robust immune system may protect you from this virus. Well not actually protect…you can still get it, but if the immune system is working well, strong and robust, you (your immune system) has more chance of fighting it off. You may have it but your symptoms won’t be as severe. In fact, a major hospital in New York is now administering high dose vitamin C IV therapy, which is a potent immune booster, to help combat the COVID-19 virus, and they have seen great results.

So to explain further…

I like to think of our immune system as our ‘Knight in shining armour. It is our shield, our defence mechanism against illness and disease – disease is the blade that cuts deep into our body and attacks it. The shield is our protector that holds out and rescues us – it is our health. That’s it made simple by the way.

In reality, the immune system is extremely complex, and supporting, building, improving, and/or repairing it, is not all about taking a whole cocktail of different nutraceuticals and botanicals. It’s so much more than that. Yes, supplements and bioidentical hormones are one of the keys to building a strong and robust immune system. And in fact, hormones (natural hormones not HRT ) is the most single independent factor to an optimal-working immune system. However, they are not the only health steps you can take. In fact, immune system health is a lifestyle!


So what is the immune system and what is so complex about it?

Well, there’s always two sides to a story, right? This one is immune tolerance and immune resilience.

The status of our immune system tolerance and immune resilience, in relationship to disease, is very important. When the immune system is not functioning very well due to low tolerance the immune system will be compromised and disease – viral or bacterial – will have more chance of getting in. When tolerance is even and resilience is strong we will have a well-functioning immune system,

Tolerance:

So what exactly does tolerance mean? Tolerance is an immunological term in which our immune system reacts correctly to the environment. When we have a healthy immune tolerance we won’t have food intolerances, chemical sensitivities, or autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s disease (where our immune system erroneously attacks the thyroid gland), rheumatoid arthritis (where the immune system erroneously to attack the joints), etc…the immune system will respond appropriately to the environment around us. In other words, it is working properly.

In short, our immune tolerance will be ‘the decider’ whether our immune system reacts or doesn’t react against various food proteins we ingest. Basically, when we lose immune tolerance we are more likely to react to different foods, and therefore, develop many food sensitivities.

Another type of immune tolerance is chemical. When chemical tolerance is low we are more likely to see sudden skin breakouts and rashes to certain lotions and soaps/detergents we use. This is a clear sign that something is wrong. Also, you may not be able to tolerate certain scents or perfumes anymore more…which can make you feel really quite nauseous.

Finally, there is the third type of tolerance which is self-tolerance. Self-tolerance is basically an autoimmune disease, of which there are many. As mentioned above, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and rheumatoid arthritis, and others such as vasculitis, Grave’s disease, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, etc.

So, to cut it short, we know that when someone has a decline in their immune tolerance, their overall immune system will be weaker. This is when we need to support immune tolerance to strengthen immune resilience.

Resilience:

Immune resilience is not the same as immune tolerance. Immune resilience (strength) is the body’s ability to protect itself against biological pathogens (illness and disease). In other words, preventing us from getting infections that we are exposed in everyday life, either bacterial or viral. It is our immune resilience that determines if pathogens get in and infect us, which then cause a significant and ongoing immune response.

When resilience is high we are better protected. Again, in the case of low immune tolerance, we need to support it, in order to build correct immune resilience.

There a number of strategies we can do and something that should be followed at all times if you want to remain healthy and have a robust immune system:

Good sleep
Proper diet and nutrition
Hydration
Physical activity at appropriate levels
Emotions (crying and laughing)

As mentioned previously, supplements and bioidentical hormones restorative therapy are key to an optimally working immune system. However, the first strategies people can do is to follow the lifestyle habits mentioned above. I will go into them in more depth in my next blog. These strategies are very powerful in helping you to build a healthy/optimal immune system. Immune system strength is not found in a supplement bottle alone. It’s a lifestyle. When we combine all these things together, our immune system will be at peace.

The truth of the matter is if you are fatigued all the time, if you catch colds and flu easily…if you have food sensitivities, if you have digestive issues, these are all signs our immune system, and therefore, our health is below optimal. Now is the time to challenge yourself to get healthy. You can do it! You may have to abandon ship for a while to reach these goals. I know old habits die hard but you can do it, and at the same time most likely lose weight along the way.

Please look out for my next blog. I will explain exactly how to get the best out of these lifestyle strategies, and discuss why they are so important to immune system health.

To your health
Jill

8 Foods To Boost Your Immune System

immunesystem

 

Hi,  Jill here from menopausewoman.com andwww.myoptimalwellbeing.com

With the virus reaching a large portion of the UK and United States now, and schools and jobs being temporarily halted or closed, we need to start thinking about the next few months ahead and how to better protect ourselves.

I live in Italy and I know that the mainstream media in the UK has been reporting cases about Italy that send shivers down your spine and provoke even more concern/panic for what might be to come in the UK and US in the near future.

However, an article recently published suggests that more than 99% of Italy’s coronavirus deaths were people who already suffered from previous health conditions.

Institutes in Rome examined medical records of approximately 18% of Italy’s coronavirus fatalities, and found that only three (3) victims actually died of the coronavirus itself – meaning they had no previous illness (pathology). To be clear, almost 50% of the victims suffered from at least three prior illnesses, and approximately 25% had either one or two health conditions. To be even clearer…their immune systems were already compromised. Our immune system is the protector of our health, or at least, it gives us a head-start at protecting ourselves from illness and disease. It is our warrior, our metal suit of armour.

Whatever, please don’t think I am making light of this situation – I am not! The coronavirus is serious. But what I want to do is pre-empt you to take action and protect yourselves, along with your family, friends and colleagues.

So, where do we start? Well, there’s lots of things we can do but for now, let’s just take a look at our eating habits.

  • Eat to ‘Nourish’ your Body and Strengthen your Immune System.

Eating nutrient-rich foods is the best way to support your immune system – meaning foods rich in nutrients, eg, vitamins, minerals, EFAs (essential fatty acids – omega-3s), etc.

It is essential that you quit eating refined sugars, processed food and artificial ingredients, and all junk food. Instead, eat a diet rich in greens, vegetables, herbs, spices, fermented foods, fruits, and healthy fats.  

Of course, there are certain foods which are particularly beneficial for your immune health, largely because they contain increased immune-enhancing properties. Add these to your nutrient-rich diet and keep safe!

Try and eat at least 3 servings of each of these super-immune-enhancing foods on a regular basis to super-charge your health and for prevention:

  • Vitamin C: For a great source of vitamin C and antioxidant power, and to cleanse and alkalise your body, consume lemons and limes.
  • I recently made a bone broth for my family as it is rich in vitamins and minerals and helps calm respiratory issues.
  • Garlic has many magics: it reduces inflammation, supports a healthy immune system, and fights infections very efficiently.
  • Onions hold magics too: similar to garlic, it is a potent infection-fighter that enhances your immune system and helps to reduce inflammation.
  • ‘A’ for apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar offers fantastic antioxidant support and is a healthy disinfectant, even against most resistant bacterial strains. Use it on your salad with some olive oil, or drink it in a little water before you eat.
  • Olive oil: Olive oil is a fantastic source of monounsaturated healthy fats that works wonders with the immune system. Drizzle it on your salad.
  • Ginger: Ginger is an impressive medicinal spice that boosts immune system function, helps reduce inflammation, has been seen to improve sore throats, and lower pain levels.  
  • Mushrooms: Mushrooms are another fantastic inflammation-fighting and immune-boosting superfood.  

To your health!

Jill.

Citations:

  1. Ware, M. How can lemons benefit your health. Medical News Today. Link Here
  2. Kawai N, Sakai N, Okuro M, Karakawa S, Tsuneyoshi Y, Kawasaki N, Takeda T, Bannai M, Nishino S. The sleep-promoting and hypothermic effects of glycine are mediated by NMDA receptors in the suprachiasmatic nucleus. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2015 May;40(6):1405-16. PMID: 25533534
  3. Stsiapanava A, Olsson U, Wan M, Kleinschmidt T, Rutishauser D, Zubarev RA, Samuelsson B, Rinaldo-Matthis A, Haeggström JZ. Binding of Pro-Gly-Pro at the active site of leukotriene A4 hydrolase/aminopeptidase and development of an epoxide hydrolase selective inhibitor. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 PMID: 24591641
  4. Nature.com
  5. Arreola R, Quintero-Fabián S, López-Roa RI, Flores-Gutiérrez EO, Reyes-Grajeda JP, Carrera-Quintanar L, Ortuño-Sahagún D. Immunomodulation and anti-inflammatory effects of garlic compounds. J Immunol Res. 2015;2015:401630. PMID: 25961060
  6. Bayan L, Koulivand PH, Gorji A. Garlic: a review of potential therapeutic effects. Avicenna J Phytomed. 2014 Jan;4(1):1-14. PMID: 25050296; PMCID: PMC4103721
  7. Yan, Fang; Polk, D. Probiotics and immune health. Current Opinion in Gastroenterology: November 2011 – Volume 27 – Issue 6 – p 496–501. Link Here
  8. Apple cider vinegar. WebMD. Link Here
  9. Puertollano, MA, Puertollano, E, Alvarez de Cienfuegos, G, de Pablo Martínez, MA. Olive oil, immune system and infection. Nutr Hosp. 2010 Jan-Feb;25(1):1-8. PMID: 20204249
  10. Casas, R, Estruch, R, Sacanella, E. The protective effects of extra virgin olive oil on immune-mediated inflammatory responses. Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets. 2018;18(1):23-35. PMID: 29141575
  11. Mashhadi NS, Ghiasvand R, Askari G, Hariri M, Darvishi L, Mofid MR. Anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of ginger in health and physical activity: review of current evidence. Int J Prev Med. 2013 Apr;4(Suppl 1):S36-42. PMID: 23717767
  12. Olsen, N. 6 mushrooms that act as turbo-shots for your immune system. Healthline. Link Here
  13. Friedman M. Chemistry, Nutrition, and Health-Promoting Properties of Hericium erinaceus (Lion’s Mane) Mushroom Fruiting Bodies and Mycelia and Their Bioactive Compounds. J Agric Food Chem. 2015;63(32):7108-23. PMID: 26244378
  14. Diling C, Chaoqun Z, Jian Y, et al. Immunomodulatory Activities of a Fungal Protein Extracted from Hericium erinaceua through Regulating the Gut Microbiota. Front Immunol. 2017;8:666. PMID: 28713364
  15. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-18/99-of-those-who-died-from-virus-had-other-illness-italy-says

Bioidentical Hormones

Hormone Therapy – What Exactly Is It?

 

Feeling Flat? Tired? Going Through The Motions?

Time To Take Control Of Your Health

4 Supplements for Healthy Vision

Need longer arms to see what you’re reading these days?

As you grow older, you may find time reminding you of its passage ― stiff joints when you get up from a chair, flagging energy, nightly interruptions to sleep. And one day you realize your arms have become too short to hold a book far enough away to read!  

It’s called presbyopia, and that’s irritating enough, but, without proper care, more serious problems may lie ahead for your vision.

These are the five most common age-related problems that can affect your eyes:

  • Cataracts: Protein fibers form a film over the eye’s lens, causing vision to become cloudy.
  • Diabetic Retinopathy: Affecting people with advanced type 1 or type 2 diabetes, vision loss is caused by damage to blood vessels in the retina, which can either swell and leak blood, or close,  preventing the passage of blood.
  • Macular Degeneration: Vision is lost gradually, especially in the central visual field, as the retina (or macula) loses function and affects the ability to read, see objects clearly and perform daily tasks.
  • Glaucoma: Pressure in the eye gradually increases, damaging the optic nerve and reducing peripheral vision.
  • Dry Eye Syndrome: With age, inability to produce adequate tears to protect and nourish eyes increases, causing irritation and loss of visual clarity.

With loss of vision, you become vulnerable to a number of social and health problems. Many people, for example, become socially withdrawn, depressed or more apt to have accidents. It’s also common for visually impaired people to have trouble reading instructions and taking their medications properly, which can lead to dangerous interactions and side effects.

Fortunately, four supplements ― vitamin A, vitamin B50 complex, omega3 fatty acids (including krill oil), and MacuGuard ― can help protect your eyes against these life-changing diseases that can rob you of your sight.

Vitamin A for Better Night Vision

Do you have night blindness ― the inability to see in the dark or in poorly lit areas? If so, it could be a tip-off that you have a vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A, which is composed of a group of antioxidant compounds, is particularly important for seeing in low-light conditions. But having enough vitamin A is also important for other reasons.

You need vitamin A to avoid corneal ulcers, as well as to prevent clouding of the eye’s lens and development of retinal damage. Plus, vitamin A is what makes it possible for you to see certain colors, such as bright orange and purple.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects the retina ― a thin piece of tissue that lines the back of the eye. It’s here where photoreceptor cells convert light to electrical signals, which the brain perceives as images. When the photoreceptors begin to deteriorate, central vision loss occurs.

AMD is the most common cause of vision loss in those over 50, and vitamin A is already being used to help prevent blindness from this disease. Over a six-year period, patients with mild-to-moderate AMD who were given a multivitamin containing antioxidant vitamins A, C and E, along with zinc and copper, had a 25% lower risk of progressing to an advanced stage of the disease.

B Vitamins to Fend Off AMD

We’ll say it again: AMD is the leading cause of blindness in people 50+. The good news, however, is that this doesn’t have to be! Evidence is mounting that (1) AMD is preventable and (2) certain B vitamins ― such as those in B-50 complexcan lower your AMD risk.

The 15-year Blue Mountain Eye Study, published in 2013, focused on the impact of vitamin B12 and folate/folic acid supplementation on homocysteine levels. Homocysteine, a naturally occurring amino acid, is a residual product of protein metabolism. Normally it isn’t harmful, but when it accumulates, it increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and contributes to the retinal damage that occurs with AMD. The higher the homocysteine level, the higher the AMD risk.

Increased levels of vitamin B12 and folic acid lowered homocysteine levels by causing it to recycle back into methionine ― a non-harmful amino acid. Those with elevated homocysteine had a 56% greater risk of AMD than those with homocysteine within normal parameters.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Krill Oil for Retinal Protection

Our need for fatty acids, which contain DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicoapentaenoic acid), begins before we’re even born. The developing fetus needs these nutrients, especially DHA, for normal development of the brain ― and the eyes. And that need never ends. In fact, your need grows as you age.

DHA and EPA are found in both omega 3 +7 and krill oil

Up to 65% of the eye’s retina is composed of DHA ― the highest concentration found in any part of the body. All that DHA is what enables pigment (rhodopsin) in your eye’s photoreceptor cells to respond to light in a way that enables you to see at night.

Research to date suggests that omega-3s may help to prevent development of AMD or limit its progression. It also appears promising to relieve the stinging, burning, watering and light sensitivity associated with dry eye.

Some people prefer krill oil to fish oil because it’s rapidly absorbed, improves cognitive functioning and contains small amounts of astaxanthin. At 550 times the strength of vitamin E, and 6,000 times that of vitamin C, astaxanthin is one of nature’s most potent antioxidants. Moreover, research has shown that astaxanthin can accumulate in and protect the retina, which is damaged by AMD.

MacuGuard for Comprehensive Vision Protection

MacuGuard Ocular Support is a unique, proprietary blend that brings together in a single softgel the most powerful ingredients known to fight the effects of aging and protect your precious eyes.

Around 600 different carotenoids are found in nature, but only around 20 affect the eyes. Of these, MacuGuard contains lutein, trans-zeaxanthin, meso-zeaxanthin and alpha carotene ― all carotenoids known to provide glaucoma protection and support your macular pigment density, which declines with age. That’s the part of your retina that protects your critically important photoreceptor cells.

Phospholipids are included to help in the absorption of lutein within the retina and support it in protecting your eyes from blue and ultraviolet light, which can cause retinal damage.

MacuGuard also contains astaxanthin, one of the world’s most potent antioxidants. It protects against eye fatigue and irritation, and supports the eyes’ blood vessel health, which can fall victim to diabetic retinopathy.

Cyanidin-3-glucoside, made from European black currant extract, helps to replenish rhodopsin, which is essential for night vision.

Together with vitamin A, vitamin B-50 complex and omega-3 fatty acids (fish or krill oil), MacuGuard provides comprehensive, all-around defense against one of the most devastating outcomes of poorly managed ageing: loss of your wonderful, irreplaceable eyesight.

References:

Axe, J. Lutein: The Antioxidant That Protects Your Eyes & Skin. Dr. Axe, Food Is Medicine.

Brownstein. B Vitamins and Your Eyesight. Newsmax. Dec. 4, 2013.

Buckner, d. Does Vitamin A Make Your Eyesight Better? LIVESTRONG. Jan 3, 2016.

Haddrill, M. Stargardt’s Disease (Fundus Flavimaculatus). All About Vision.

Haddrill, M. Retinitis Pigmentosa. All About Vision.

Heiting, G. Eye Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. All About Vision

Heiting, G. Vitamin a and Beta-Carotene: Eye Benefits. All About Vision.

Keep eyes healthy with folic acid, B vitamins, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin. Nutrition Express.

Maron, D.F. Fact or Fiction?: Carrots improve Your Vision. Scientific American. June 23, 2014.

Mercola, J. Astaxanthin ― Nature’s Most Powerful Antioxidant. Mercola.com. Feb. 10, 2013.

Meschino, J. Help Preserve Your Eyesight With B Vitamins. To Your Health, Vol. 07, Issue 11. Nov. 2013.