Adjusting For Success

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Adjusting For Success

It’s getting close to that time of year again when all the new years intentions we developed are at the greatest risk of failing. According to the U.S. News and World report the failure rate for news years resolutions is said to be about 80% with most losing their resolve about mid February. It’s just about then that we get tired of eating salad, getting up early to go to the gym, put off meditating until later, going to bed early starts to get later and later as well as any of the other dozens of commitments that start to get harder to do.

We all start out with good intentions and truly believe this is the year we will do what it takes to achieve our desired goals. So as we get closer to critical mass I want to offer some suggestions to hopefully avoid the pit falls and keep you on track to achieve your goals.

Now that you have been at it a few weeks evaluate whether your goal was realistically achievable. If not readjust to a more achievable goal and then build on that. For example if you promised yourself that you would work out five days a week and you find you are actually getting there two to three times a week reset you expectations and try for three times a week with possibly adding stretching and yoga at home on the off days. This will keep you in the game and is actually more realistic for your life. Even if it is two to three days a week it is more than you were doing before and in time it will likely be more of a habit that you can build on.

Secondly consider taking smaller steps. For example it’s unlikely that you can go from 2500 calories a day to a 1000 and expect to sustain it for long. Start by cutting out deserts, or sugar or carbohydrates and adding more fruits and vegetables. Another option is to consider adding intermittent fasting to your regime if you don’t have blood sugar issues.

Being prepared for the changes you are making is another important factor in your success. This includes things such as getting to the store and having good food choices on hand that you actually enjoy eating. When we are hungry and we want to grab something quick or we come home tired and there isn’t anything appealing the likelihood we will make poor choices is greatly increased. Additionally if you have committed to working out make sure you pack your bag the night before and are ready to go. Gathering your things at the last minute before you walk out the door when you are already feeling rushed works against yourself.

Getting support from your friends or family also helps to enhance your success rate. If you are not the shopper in your household ask that whoever does this to be mindful of your needs getting delicious fruits, veggies and health snacks and avoid bringing sugary snacks or chips into the house. These are tough temptations when we are hungry and don’t want to take the time to prepare something.

Most importantly acknowledge the successes you have had. What you have done took thought, courage and energy. Make the choice each day to rededicate your self to what you are trying to achieve. If you fail that day don’t beat yourself up. Pick you again and start a new. It is important to remember that change is a process. We start out with an idea of what things should look like but it is much more fluid than absolute. Don’t hesitate to modify as things progress. Modifying is not failure. In fact it is much more likely to lead to your success.

With Gratitude,

Exercises, Aging and Your Brain

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Exercises, Aging and Your Brain

It was long believed that the brain you got was the one that you had to live with. Once you reached adulthood and full brain development had occurred it was assumed there would be no further neuron development. If you unfortunately lost some aspect of your brain due to aging, stroke, disease etc. it was believed you were left with a limited capacity that at best would hopefully lead to no further deterioration. What we now know is the brain is capable of having neuroplasticity, meaning that it is has the ability to generate new neurons. Gratefully it turns out aerobic exercise is one way this can be achieved! This occurs because aerobic exercise increases the production of a protein called BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), which increases the size and connectivity in the hippocampus. This occurs when stem cells, which are essentially a blank slate, are developed in to new nascent neurons, which in turn create new brain cells.

There are many ways to increase neuroplasticity but one thing we now know is that exercise has a significant impact on the development of new neurons particularly in the part of the brain called the hippocampus and the neo-cortex. This is important because these are the regions of the brain that degenerate as aging occurs. Further research has revealed that the most effective way to achieve this is to add some form of cognitive challenge during exercising. This includes things such as having to process spatial awareness, making choices and processing stimulus input while exercising. Adding this cognitive component has the greatest impact on neuron development. So what this means in real time is that getting on the bike at the gym and turning on the TV where your only cognitive input is staring idly at the TV is not nearly as beneficial as riding a bike outside, dealing with spatial awareness, traffic, pedestrians and while still needing to be cognizant of the direction you are travelling. The increase utilization of cognitive function while doing any aerobic exercise is the most efficient and effective way to increase BDNF.

While exercise has many effects on all parts of our body if you are approaching middle age you may want to seriously consider the way that you exercise to help prevent atrophy of the hippocampus and the neo-cortex. By simply adding a cognitive component to any aerobic exercise you are already doing you will increase the development of new neural cells. Any advantage that we can utilize to increase brain cell development will help diminish the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

There have been many studies done to assess how much exercise is necessary to receive the neurogenic benefits and cellular development. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that you should engage in aerobic exercise of moderate intensity for at least 150 minutes per week or 75 minutes a week for intense exercise or an equivalent combination of the two. More clinical trials are still being done to find the best way to target, physiological pathways to link the brain and the body to exploit our brain’s ability of exercised induces plasticity as we age but for now simply adding a cognitive component to your exercises will help tremendously.

A new year is upon us and is the case for many an opportunity to create new habits to increase our health and the joy we create in out life. As we begin this New Year consider not only exercising but also exercising in a way that helps protect the aging brain. I wish you and your family excellent health and many blessings as we begin this new decade.

With Gratitude,

CBD Products: Yeah or Nay?

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CBD Products: Yay or Nay?

CBD products are taking the country by storm. They have been promoted to aid in everything from anxiety and depression to acne and heart disease. Many wonder about its safety and others question its association with the cannabis plant. Understanding how CBD works can be confusing and for those who want an in depth discussion of its properties and effect on different CB receptors as well as its influence on the endocannabinoid system I will refer you to Simply explained the endocannabinoid system is designed to maintain a homeostatic balance in your body making sure all systems are in balance with each other. CBD has been shown to have a favorable effect on this system. This is one of the reasons it has such widespread applications.

CBD is derived from the resins of the cannabis flower and has been used as a medicine for literally thousands of years. While THC, the active ingredient found in marijuana is also derived from the cannabis flower it is important to distinguish that CBD products do not produce the characteristic “high” or euphoric feeling that THC does. This is due to the ingredients of each effecting different receptors in the brain.

As a general rule the majority of CBD products are safe and can effectively be used by adults and children for a variety of issues. There are however some precautions that should be considered when using these products. Despite the fact that CBD is mostly safe and therapeutic there may be some unwanted side effects when combined with other drugs you take regularly. These include heart medications, anti-anxiety medications such as BuSpar, any medication that warns against being taken with grapefruit and certain blood pressure medications. For more information and interactive descriptions or to check the possible interactions with specific medications you currently take go to

Another significant safety concern is the limited regulation of the manufacturing of CBD products. It has become a booming industry and as of yet fairly unregulated. This has led to a number of less than scrupulous pop-up companies attempting to capitalize on the lack of regulations. If you decided to purchase CBD products it is essential that a reputable company has manufactured the products. I would suggest you use caution when tempted to buy it at your hairdressers or a gym or other places that are not certified retailers of the product. This is not to imply in any way that these institutions don’t have reputable products but it is important that you are certain of its source and the products credibility before purchasing.

The issue of course with the lack of regulation is that what is listed on the ingredients may be less or more potent than what is represented. Most people unwittingly assume it will be less than what is listed but in a recent study of multiple products including oils, edibles and creams 30% contained more than the listed ingredients. For most adults this generally doesn’t present too much of an issue but for children it could potentially cause significant problems. As with all medications weight is the critical component in dosing. With children who may weigh any where from 35 to 100 pounds the higher doses have the potential for complications. A 2017 study by Bonn-Miller found that 7 out of 10 products did not contain the amount of extract listed on the label therefore diligence in checking out the product you are considering is critical especially if you will be administering to children.

All things considered CBD oil has many very favorable effects with little to no side effects. Before deciding to try CBD it is important to check with your doctor for any negative side effects that my interfere or complicate the medications you are currently taking. Surveys of CBD users have reported favorable effects in reducing pain, anxiety, depression and a whole host of other disorders. Personally I have found it effective for knee pain. If you elect to try CBD oil exercise good judgment, check with your doc and be the wise soul you are.

With Gratitude,

Are You In The Blue Zone?

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Are You in The Blue Zone?

Before you even think of going there this is not an article on political discourse and has nothing to do with politics. Through out the world there are specific regions where the majority of the population experience exceedingly long healthy lives and many live to be well over a hundred. These regions are called the “Blue Zones” and extensive studies have been done in an effort to understand what the common denominators are that lend themselves to such a healthy long positive life. Some of the reasons will make perfect sense but some of the most important may surprise you.

The five blue zones where researchers have discovered where people live the longest are: 1.Sardinia, Italy, 2. Ikaria, Greece, 3. Okinawa, Japan, 4. Nicoya, Costa Rica and lastly right here in the U.S. in Loma Linda, California (primary home to the seventh-day Adventist). Researchers have determined that there are seven essential considerations that create these environments. These first five won’t surprise you. They include:

  1. Utilize whole foods especially plants in your diet- consistently most of the diets in these regions favored the Mediterranean type
  2. Avoid Processed foods: a no brainer. Processed foods are filled with chemicals that, accelerates aging and are toxic to your tissues and chemical balance.
  3. Create a healthy living environment. This includes things such as buying the right foods, planning ahead, eating, living and working in a peaceful environment and developing a good sleep pattern.
  4. Maintain a good body weight for your height and size, which, they found, was directly correlated to the amount of sleep you get. A good eight plus hours was necessary to maintain good hormonal balance. There is a saying that “hormones are stronger than diet”. It doesn’t matter how little you eat or how much you exercise, if your hormones are out of balance it is very difficult to maintain a healthy body weight so make sleep a priority. Create a comfortable dark inviting, peaceful space that is free of TV’s and screens.
  5. Exercise: They found that most of the centenarians exercises frequently but not in a gym. They walked everywhere they went, used their hands instead of machines to do work, and for more traditional exercise they did yoga, Tai Chi and played games with their friends instead of going to the gym. Many of these people also had physical jobs such as farming which is very different than the way most of us work. In addition most were found to have gardens of their own. Movement reduces inflammation and improves heart, bone and muscular health and for this to be beneficial you have to move everyday.

All of these findings make perfect sense and are fairly obvious but these last two results were found to play an even more significant role than the first five reported.

  1. A Strong healthy support system– According to researchers this was the most important and powerful thing you can do to increase your chances for longevity. For the blue zone residents this was a natural way of life and is built into the culture. People in the blue zones have strong systems of support and are much more willing to engage and help each other. We however spend significant part of our lives with our heads down and focused on a phone, iPad or computer. This has become such a problem that we now have neck injuries related to posture changes from this behavior! To derive this benefit we have to be willing to look up, connect with those around you and engage. Studies have shown that loneliness can decrease your longevity significantly. Sadly, many people in our country don’t even know the people they live next to. Blue Zone studies have shown that it doesn’t necessarily have to be intimate connectedness. Just being connected and knowing someone is aware of you has been shown to increase your chances for longevity.
  2. Spend time outdoors with friends and family: Not surprisingly many recent studies have extolled the value of being out in nature. In fact many physicians have begun prescribing it as a treatment regimen for depression. For the people in the blue zones this is a way of life. Staying connected to family and others is the single most important thing to them. The other benefit that being out in nature provides is that they are usually getting exercise at the same time. Additionally there are no “old folks” homes in the blue zone because they don’t need them and older people are cared for by family.

Living a healthy long life is obviously correlated to how committed you are to eating and sleeping well. Most importantly however is how willing are you to lift up your head, smile and connect to the people around you, step a way from the technology and head outdoors. No matter what gene pool you swim in making these choices greatly increase your chances of living a healthy long life. What will you choose?

With Gratitude,

Is Sitting The New Smoking?

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Is Sitting The New Smoking?

We are a nation of sitters. Whether we are at work, commuting in our cars, sitting in class or working in front of a computer we sit. Not to minimize the exercising we do but an hour of exercise does not balance out the 8 plus hours of sitting we often are required to do in a day.

Recently you may have seen the research on the demerits of sitting for long periods of the day. It is not a stretch in imagination to understand the truth in this but there are other concerns related to sitting aside from cardiovascular consequences.

One of the most important muscle effecting sitting is the psoas muscle also known as the hip flexor. It is significant for both its position within the body and the action it produces. Additionally it is one of those muscles that can be tight but weak at the same time. Structurally it is attached to the front of the last five vertebrae in your low back and traverses through your abdomen attaching to the top of your femur or leg bone. During sitting this muscle shortens and the fibers come closer together and tighten up. When you rise from the seated position this muscle is sometimes slow to release and you may find you walk in a flexed or bent forward position for several steps. For those of you who are constantly being reminded to stand up straight and have a tendency to walk in a slightly bent forward position tightness in this muscle is often the culprit.

Keeping the psoas as lose as possible will significantly reduce low back stress and increase proper posture while strengthening will aid in keeping the core strong reducing back pain and minimizing the risk of injury.

To Stretch: There are several ways to stretch this muscle and I will review two of them for you here.

  1. Start with one leg in the kneeling position at a 90’ degree angle with the other knee on the ground. From this position slide your pelvis forward while leaning your torso backwards. Hold for 20 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
  2. Lay on the side of your bed or a bench with one leg hanging over the side but not letting your foot touches the floor. Hold this position for 20 seconds and then repeat on the other side.

Even though you may feel that one side is tighter than the other it is important that both sides are stretched to create a good balance.

To Strengthen: Again there are several ways to strengthen this muscle but I will give you two different ways to try this.

  1. Start in a standing position with either an ankle weight or theraband (available at the office or online) attached to the ankle area. Support yourself by holding onto what ever is available such as a counter or chair. Slowly lift you leg to a 90 degrees angle. Lower it slowly and repeat 10 times. Work your way up to 3 sets of ten resting in between. When you are able to do three sets of ten increase the weight and start back with one set of ten continuing to work up to three sets of ten again.
  2. If you are someone who belongs to a gym there are machines that you can use to strengthen your psoas. Due to the variability in machines you will need to ask a trainer which one in your gym will address this muscle.

In total it may take you five to ten minutes to address this muscle but I can assure you it will be well worth your effort in the long run. You will have less back pain, have better balance and stand straighter.

With Gratitude,

Does Your Body Need A Vacation?

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Does Your Body Need A Vacation?

Yet another year has come to a close and if you are like many of us there is a high probability that you have over indulged in an abundance of sugar, alcohol, rich foods and all the other goodies that go with the holidays. Now that it’s over if you are anything like me you can almost feel your body requesting a much needed break.

Consider starting off the New Year by giving you body a rest and remove the sugar, breads, pastas, coffee and alcohol from your diet for a short period of time. As a general rule I prefer to cleanse my body twice a year. Generally I do one cleanse at the beginning of the year and another sometime mid summer and I always feel great. The longer you are willing to remove these foods the better but whether it is three days, a week or a month you will give your organs a much needed rest and rid your body of excess toxins. I find a three week cleanse is highly effective and comprehensive but if you are unable to commit to that consider doing a week. There are many ways to approach this “cleanse” and I encourage you to find the best method that fits your life style, caloric needs and any medical issues you may have. Even if you haven’t overly indulged during the holiday just living in a city exposes us to a multitude of toxins that we ingest, inhale or absorb on a daily basis.

Our body gets rid of these toxins through our urine, fecal material, sweat and breath. Enabling these mechanisms to function efficiently will provide many benefits such as increased energy, increased mental acuity and clarity, deeper more restful sleep, clearer skin and overall more effective and efficient organ function.

Here are a few considerations that will make this adventure more effective and help insure your success:

  1. Plan ahead and have healthy snacks readily available. If you are hungry and don’t have anything to eat you will inevitably reach for whatever is available and it often will contain sugar.
  2. Drink water!!! As you detox your body will begin to release toxins from your body and water is essential to carry the toxins out of the body as a waste product. Not drinking an adequate amount of water will put a load on your system as opposed to cleansing it because as you release these toxins they need to be effectively carried out of the body. Generally half your body weight in fluid ounces daily is a good rough estimate for the amount necessary for adequate cleansing. Green tea is also helpful and replaces the coffee ritual.
  3. If you have access to a sauna at your gym, work or fitness facility consider getting in two times a week to further detoxify your system. The sweating further flushes the toxins from your skin and you will have the added benefit of muscle relaxation as well.
  4. Fill your diet with a variety of different vegetables, nut and legumes and get rid of the breads, pasta and meat. Try getting creative with different foods and food combinations. You will enjoy it more, have greater success and are more likely to carry these new habit into your life as you reintroduce foods back into your diet. Consider also adding fermented foods such as yogurt, kimchi, kefir or fermented vegetables. These provide bacteria, which will support digestion and further aid in the detoxification process.
  5. There are many products/kits on the market that are available to assist you in your cleanse. If you decided to enlist the help of one of these products please make sure they come from a reputable source. Here at the office we have some excellent products if you are interested.
  6. Move your body! It doesn’t matter what you do even if it is simply taking a walk. The activity helps to pump the lymphatic system and move the toxins more effectively through your system aiding in elimination.
  7. I encourage you to consider cleaning up the temple you live in. It’s easy, healthy, and you will definitely feel better. I can’t guarantee it but you also just may loose a little weight. Although a cleanse is good for just about everyone if you have any medical issues always check with your physician before starting a program to make sure it will be beneficial for you. My wish for each of you is a year filled with joy, health, love and success. Happy New Year!

    With Gratitude,

Responsible Pain Relief

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Responsible Pain Relief

The epic rise of opioid deaths, devastation to families and loved ones and over prescribing of all pain relievers has left us as a nation in limbo with how to deal with pain. This is especially true for those suffering with chronic pain due to arthritis, degeneration, diabetes etc. The following will detail the effects of medications as well as natural solutions which when taken regularly can be highly effective with minimal if any side effects.

Most people are aware of the dangers that opioids present but not as widely known or discussed is the danger that over the counter ibuprofen, Tylenol, aspirin and Alleve present. In the short term most people are able to take a few days worth of the above pain relievers with little to no negative effects. It is the long-term use/abuse that tends to create problems for the liver, kidneys, heart and digestive organs.

Let’s take a moment and clarify what each of these different medications do and how they work in your body.

Ibuprofen (aka Motrin, Advil): a non-steroidal anti-inflammation (NSAID) sold over the counter and widely utilized for pain, fever and inflammation

Side effects: Upset stomach, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness and stomach bleeding.

Tylenol (aka acetaminophen): serves primarily as a pain reliever as well as fever reduction

Side effects: contains a significant warning for liver damage when consumed by people who drink 3 or more alcoholic drinks in a day, especially if consuming alcohol while taking the product.

Aspirin (aka Bayer): also a NSAID used to treat pain, fever and inflammation by reducing the enzymes that make prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are the chemicals that are released which cause the inflammation and pain. Additionally aspirin inhibits the function of platelets and produces an antithrombotic effect. This is the reason people will take a baby aspirin to reduce the chance of heart attack or stroke.

Side effects: gastritis, ringing in the ears, rash, kidney impairment, vertigo, dizziness, nausea, liver toxicity, gastrointestinal bleeding, ulcer and increased blood uric levels.

Unfortunately, most over the counter medications come with some risk and negative side effects. Fortunately there are natural products available that have minimal risk and can be quite effective. Consider the following:

Turmeric/Curcumin: Turmeric is the spice that gives Indian food its yellow color. Turmeric contains chemical compounds called curcuminoids, which have powerful anti-inflammatory effects as well as strong antioxidant properties. In order to achieve these benefits a supplement containing the correct dosage is necessary to achieve therapeutics benefits. The amount we use in cooking is insufficient to create a significant effect. Curcumin is not easily absorbed into the blood stream however taking black pepper with it increases the absorption.

Black pepper contains piperine, which is a natural substance that increases the absorption of the curcumin by 2000% percent.

Side effects: none despite numerous clinical trials

Boswellia: Boswellia is better known by its more common name, which is frankincense. Frankincense is an herbal extract derived from the boswellia serrate tree and is very effective in reducing inflammatory responses. Boswellia may interact with any other anti-inflammatory you may be taking so talk to you doctor before beginning. I would advise against taking boswellia if you are pregnant because it has been know to increase blood flow to the uterus and pelvis

Arnica: arnica is an herb grown mainly in Siberia and central Europe and is used to reduce inflammation and help with pain. It is available in a cream, gel and orally. Avoid if you are pregnant, have high blood pressure, IBS, ulcers or Chron’s disease.

Willow Bark: Often referred to as nature’s aspirin. Willow bark is bark that comes from several different varieties of the willow tree. It works primarily like aspirin in that it is a pain reliever and has been used for a very long time dating back to the time of Hippocrates. It does have some side effects that could pose a problem if you have sensitivity to aspirin. Post surgically it may slow blood clotting and as always avoid if you are pregnant.

Ice: ice is used as an anti-inflammatory and helps to reduce swelling especially after an injury. It causes the blood and lymphatic vessels to constrict. When your pain is due to an inflammatory response ice is very helpful in reducing your pain.

Acupuncture: Acupuncture has been increasingly used as an effective natural pain reliever with very low risk of any side effects.

No matter what method you employ to help with your pain I encourage you to talk to your doctor to assess your specific issues and possible risks. Whenever possible chose the path of least risk to achieve sufficient pain management. For your convenience we have a number of these reliable and vetted products in stock. If you are someone who suffers from chronic pain please be safe and mindful in whatever approach you take to manage your pain.

With Gratitude,

Are You Hydrating Enough?

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Are You Hydrating Enough?

August is fully upon us and with it the blistering hot, dog days of summer are here. With rising temperatures and intense humidity we also see an increase in issues related to dehydration. The dangerous thing about dehydration is it has a way of sneaking up on you and you will feel its effects before you realize it. Generally people are thoughtful and remember to hydrate if they are going to play a sport or mow the lawn but most are not nearly as diligent in their day-to-day hydration practices.

More often than not people rely on thirst as their indication that they are dehydrated and as a result do not consume an adequate amount of water. The problem is that thirst is a poor indicator for the body’s need for water because by the time you are thirsty you are already significantly dehydrated.

Obviously dry mouth and increased thirst are signs that you are dehydrated but so is fatigue, dry eyes or blurred vision, lack of sweating, dizziness, cramping, dark urine and light headedness. In severe cases rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, fainting, confusion and anger can all be indicative of dehydration.

So how much water do you need? The amount depends on your weight, heat exposure and medications you may take. There is considerable debate as to whether you should drink approximately ½ your body weight or by multiplying your body weight by 2/3. Personally I think that if you are somewhere in between and add a dose of common sense you’ll be fine. In addition add 12 ounces for every 30 minutes of a work out. If you take a dehydrating medication add an additional 12 ounces. Equally important is to not over hydrate. When you drink too much water you will dilute the sodium and electrolytes in your body, which can create a whole of other problems.

Everyone needs to be concerned with dehydration but children, older adults and people with chronic illnesses are especially vulnerable. Older adults naturally have a lower volume of water in their bodies and are more likely to take medications and have conditions that result in dehydration. Young children become dehydrated very easily especially with vomiting and diarrhea.

So, if you are on the dry side of hydrating I encourage you to take a look at where you can do better to wet your whistle. It is a simple critical component of self-care that is easily remedied and immediately effective.

Drink up!

With Gratitude,

What’s The Matter with Me?

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What’s The Matter with Me?

Check out the list of the following symptoms to asses if any apply to you. While all of the symptoms are related to many disorders they are also associated with low levels of vitamin B12. In order to accurately discern whether your B12 levels are low or you are suffer from some other issue a simple blood test is in order and your doctor can easily do this for you.

Low levels of B12 can lead to:

  1. Weakness, tired, lightheaded
  2. Heart palpitations/shortness of breath
  3. Constipation/diarrhea/loss of appetite/excessive gas
  4. Tingling in hands and feet/difficulty walking with ease
  5. Vision Loss
  6. Pale skin/smooth tongue
  7. Depression/ memory loss or behavioral changes

Low levels of B12 can be cause by a variety of issues but it is often the inability of our body to absorb the vitamin that is generally the root cause. Those individuals who are susceptible to any gastrointestinal disorders or have had gastrointestinal surgery are at a higher risk, as are older individuals, vegetarians, pregnant and lactating woman as well as those who suffer from pernicious anemia. Pernicious anemia is an autoimmune disease that affects the gastric mucosa resulting in atrophy, which in turn through a series of steps inhibits normal B12 absorption. Tingling in the hands and feet is a hallmark symptom of Pernicious anemia.

From a dietary standpoint the best sources of B12 include eggs, cheese, milk and milk products, meat, fish, fortified breakfast cereals, shellfish, poultry and some soy based products. B12 is a water-soluble vitamin so it is hard to overdose on it because what ever is not needed is generally excreted in your urine. Some of the side effects from taking B12 can include headaches, itching, anxiety or nervousness and in severe case uncontrolled movements.

I’m often asked if it is better to use the injectable form or take the oral supplements. This is entirely dependent on the state of your gastrointestinal system. In the case of pernicious anemia taking an oral supplement would be of little value because the atrophy of the stomach wall does not allow it to be absorbed therefore an injection is the best option. If you are able to digest and absorb properly then an oral supplement is fine. If you have assessed a need for B12 it’s important that you let your physician know before you begin to take it to ensure there are no issues with any other medication you are taking.

As with any medication, vitamin or supplement be certain that you have a need for it before beginning and if you do so taking it regularly will give you the best results.

With Gratitude,

Spring: Glorious and Problematic

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Spring: Glorious and Problematic

Starting in mid to late March with the arrival of the daffodils, Bartlett Pears, forsythia and crocuses and carrying onward to the Tulips, roses and dogwoods Atlanta is a panacea of color and scent that delights all of our senses. Not many places on the planet rival the beauty that arrives in Atlanta each spring, however this beauty comes at a price. Pollen, the unwelcome yet necessary culprit that produces this cornucopia of color coats our noses, throats and eyes.

Pollen counts measure the amount of pollen grains in a cubic meter of air. Pollen counts that reach above a thousand are considered to be extremely high. With pollen counts that can regularly hang out at 2-3 thousand and have reached over 9000 you can understand why we have more than our fair share of coughing, runny noses, congestion, scratchy throat and itchy eyes during these beautiful spring days. Believe it or not even with our tremendously high pollen count we haven’t even reached the top ten pollen counts in the country. Internationally Islamabad has the highest counts reaching the 40,000’s! No matter what the pollen count is where you are there are things that you can do to help minimize your symptoms.

Consider the following to assist in ameliorating symptoms and/or preventing them before they get started:

  1. Monitor the local pollen count. publishes the daily pollen count, delineating the specific pollens in question and whether it is mild moderate or severe. Know what you are sensitive to and avoid your exposure as much as possible on heavy pollen days.
  2. Rinse your hair before going to bed. During the day your hair is exposed to the environment leaving your hair laden with the grains of pollen. Rinsing your hair helps you prevent inhaling the pollen that would otherwise fall on your pillow.
  3. Keep your car and windows closed during heavy pollen days. Despite the fact that the temperature is usually perfect and the breeze feel delicious avoid the temptation.
  4. Wash your clothes, curtains and linens and vacuum couch and chairs.
  5. Animals that are exposed should be rinsed regularly during high pollen count days. This will avoid them tracking the pollen through the home or getting it on your hand while petting.
  6. If your allergies are severe consider wearing a mask to filter pollen when you are outside.

Treating your allergies

If you have the misfortune of developing an allergic response consider a Neti pot with a salt solution to flush your nasal passages. It can be quite effective in reducing the inflammation in you nasal passages. Acupuncture and local bee pollen can also be of great assistance in reducing your symptoms. Orally quercitin is a natural antihistamine that can be taken in a tablet form (most effective) and occurs naturally in garlic, citrus fruits broccoli, berries, wine, apples, parsley, legumes and lettuce. For those with severe reactivity immunotherapy shots may limit your reactivity and reduce allergic triggers. No matter what approach you take make sure to keep yourself hydrated. Whatever your level of sensitivity I hope you are able to enjoy the beauty that graces us throughout the spring season.

With Gratitude,