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How to Feel Your Best: The 5 Keys to Good Health

How to Feel Your Best: The 5 Keys to Good Health

What is your definition of healthy? When we look at media portrayals of “healthy people,” we typically see younger fitness models with blinding white teeth and too-perfect-to-be-true bodies. Good health can be obtained by people of all walks, ages and sizes, and is often a result of balancing the elements of one’s lifestyle (mind, body and spirit). Let’s look at five key indicators of good health, and what one can do to find that balance.

1. Vitality

a red apple among graysVitality means having adequate energy, not getting sick often, and the ability to enjoy life along with its challenges. This may seem like a mental element but vitality largely has to do with diet and lifestyle (though certain health conditions can hamper vitality). Those with vitality tend to have a strong resistance towards disease and infection, and tend to have good circulation.

What can you do about low vitality?

-The first thing I would check is your diet. Lack of nutritious food, or not eating often enough, can leave you feeling sluggish and not very vital. Another area to check is the digestive system. Do you often have gas, bloating, pain, constipation or diarrhea after meals? There may be an issue afoot.

-A majority of folks do not get enough nutrients from food, so adding a high quality multi-vitamin and mineral supplement, along with an Omega 3, could be beneficial. No difference in 2-3 months? You may need to consult your physician for a check-up.

There are many causes of low vitality. You could be suffering from burnout, or feeling the after effects of a separation, loss of a loved one, job loss, childbirth, a traumatic event, or one of a dozen other reasons.

As a practitioner, I often see low vitality linked with hormonal imbalances. Speak with your health practitioner or your local pharmacist about hormone level testing and available treatment options.

2. Good Sleep

sleeping babyGood sleep is sound sleep—deep, uninterrupted, and satisfying. Ideally, you should be able to fall asleep within 10 minutes of getting into bed. Many cases of troubled sleep are labeled as insomnia, which is a disease in its own right, though it’s often part of a bigger problem. Sleep difficulties are rarely remedied with a sleeping aid or potion. Conditions such as anxiety, depression, tension, chronic stress and adrenal fatigue may be causes of not being able to sleep. Sleeplessness can also be a side effect of some medications.

What can you do about sleep difficulties?

-The first thing I recommend is eliminating or reducing all sources of caffeine, especially in the evening or nighttime. Healthier beverages like green tea are fine in moderation, but sodas, energy drinks and other high sugar and caffeine combos are best left alone.

-Check your sleep environment. Keep your bedroom as dark and quiet as possible. Turn off the TV and put away all electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime.

-Light exercise or meditation can also be beneficial before bedtime. Even showering at night can help.

If sleep difficulties become persistent or chronic, something further will need to be done.

3. Sense of Humor

laughing womanDo you enjoy laughing, even if at times it’s at your own expense? You don’t need to be The Entertainer or a stand-up comic to have a sense of humor. Having a sense of humor simply means being able to let go and enjoy life without taking it too seriously. Laughter and humor makes it easier to maintain a positive outlook on life, even when things are not so easy.

How can you fix your funny bone?

-Simply put, learn to laugh more. Laughter isn’t a weakness; in fact, it can be quite the opposite. Plus, laughter is a proven form of stress relief. It pays to laugh!

-Watch a comedy movie or TV show. Sometimes you may not feel like laughing, and all you want to do is be sad and wallow, but that will do no good. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your spirit can be lifted after a few chuckles.

4. Healthy Appetite and Digestion

A healthy appetite and proper digestion are two key aspects of overall health. Appetites vary, and people should eat for their body style and activity level, but these tips are good for everyone to follow:

  • Keep an eye on your weight, and maintain a sensible weight for your body type.
  • Eat fewer bad fats (trans fat) and more good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats).
  • Eat fewer refined carbohydrates and more complex carbohydrates
  • Opt for healthier, cleaner sources of protein. Be mindful of meat sources.
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables daily. Reduce your intake of potatoes, pastas and breads.
  • Be mindful of alcohol consumption. If your vitality is lacking, you may want to avoid alcohol altogether.
  • Stay hydrated daily. Water should be a vast majority of your fluid intake.
  • Take a daily multi-vitamin and mineral to ensure against deficiencies.
  • Check your bowel movements. Healthy, vital people have well-functioning bowels with little to no diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or excessive flatulence. Consult with your physician if you are having issues with bowel movements; they’re often the sign of something deeper that needs addressing.
  • Eat less. Most people eat almost 30% more food than they need. Overeating can lead to various problems other than digestive issues.

5. An Active Mind

I once heard it said that we begin aging when we stop learning. An active brain continues to produce dendrites, which are the communication connections between cells. Dendrites help to store and retrieve information more easily. Healthy people are typically known for good memory and clarity of thought—regardless of age. I’ve had quite a few elderly patients over the years, some well into their 90’s, who amazed me with their mental clarity and wit. Keeping an active mind also makes it easier to keep a positive attitude, which is also beneficial to vitality.

How can I keep an active mind?

Scrabble tilesThere are many ways to expand your mind and keep it active. Find something you enjoy and can do daily. Here are some suggestions: Read (but try to stay away from mindless magazines); do crossword puzzles or other word/number games; play strategic board or card games; learn a foreign language; take a course or study a trade (many community centers, libraries and groups offer free or affordable classes); join a local discussion group; take up a creative craft (like woodworking, pottery, drawing).

There are also supplements you can take that can help with cognitive function.

  • Vitamin E (around 400 I.U. per day)
  • Ginkgo Biloba (2.5 – 4 mls per day, standardized liquid extract form). Ginkgo helps to increase blood circulation to the brain and may help to prevent free radical damage to the brain’s neurons).
  • Phosphatidylserine (around 100mg 2-3 times daily). PS has been the most studied nutrient for cognitive decline. Substantial amounts of clinical and research data are available on PS, and the findings indicate PS is very safe to take and highly effective in conserving memory, increasing learning, concentration, and other higher mental capacities.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (particularly the DHA component of Omega 3). Many people have a deficiency of DHA in the brain, particularly as they age. DHA is the building block of human brain tissue and is particularly abundant in the grey matter of the brain and the retina of the eye. Low levels of DHA have recently been associated with depression, memory loss, dementia, and visual problems of the elderly.
  • Zinc (15–30mg per day). Zinc deficiencies often underpin many problems and altered cognitive functions, such as loss of taste and smell, poor vision, and immunity issues.

About the Author:

Dr Eric Bakker, NZ naturopathic physicianEric Bakker B.H.Sc. (Comp.Med), N.D, R.Hom. is a highly experienced naturopathic physician who has been in clinical practice for 25 years. Eric is passionate about improving people’s lives through proven wellness and lifestyle principles, natural medicine practice as well as public and professional practitioner education. Eric specialises in candida yeast infections, as well as adrenal fatigue, and thyroid disorders. Dr. Bakker has written one of the most comprehensive books on yeast infections called Candida Crusher. Website:  candidacrusher.com  You can complete his online survey to determine if you have a yeast infection here, or link through to his many YouTube videos: www.yeastinfection.org  Dr. Bakker’s Blog:  www.ericbakker.com

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Feeling Drained? Get Rid of Those Energy Robbers

Feeling Drained? Get Rid of Those Energy Robbers

Imagine your energy is stored in a barrel. Energy robbers are holes in that barrel, letting energy leak out and making it hard to keep full. It would seem silly to keep demanding more and more energy from your body instead of just plugging as many of the holes as possible. Every time you eliminate or minimize one of these energy robbers, it is like plugging one of the holes in the barrel, allowing your energy reserves to rebuild. As you become aware of and eliminate what is robbing you of your energy, you will see significant differences. Let’s learn how to recognize these people, places and things.

Energy Robbing People

As you go about your day, notice if there are certain people in your life that seem to make you feel more tired, listless, helpless, frustrated, angry or fatigued when you are around them. It may be a casual acquaintance, a social friend, or even a relative, spouse or parent. People you feel drained by or feel worse after coming into contact with are energy robbers in some way, even if by accident. In fact, they are seldom aware of the effect they are having on you. At this point what matters is identifying those who have this effect.

two people having an argumentWhat if someone you are close with is an energy robber? If it is a partner, tell him or her that there are certain times he or she takes away your energy and during those times you need to minimize your contact. You might work out a signal to let him or her know when they are robbing you of your energy so they can stop. If it is someone you cannot easily communicate with, which is in itself a sign of an energy robbing situation, you must do what you can on your own. If this is pervasive throughout your relationship, you should rethink this relationship. Patients often tell me that they feel guilty for minimizing their contact with friends or family members even when that person is robbing them of their energy.  It is important to realize that nobody has a right to your energy and health.

Being aware of the energy suckers in your life will allow you to change how you interact with them. Changing your social contacts is sometimes the key to tipping the scales in your favor for recovery. No matter how many right things you put into your body and your lifestyle, their positive effects can be undermined by too much contact with people who leave you feeling drained. Therefore, if you look at your life and you find that energy suckers are a factor, it is important to do something about it. If they are people you know casually or have little contact with, you should consider eliminating them altogether from your life. If you find that someone is robbing you of your energy during a particular interaction, end your contact as quickly as possible at that time.

Energy Robbers at Work and Home

on my way to work please shoot me bumpersticker by Flickr user mtsofanIf you feel weakened or drained by home or work conditions, it is usually specific aspects of these that are the energy robbers, not the entire situation. Particular duties, tasks, hours, environmental factors or people may zap your energy. You might feel great while working with clients but exhausted while preparing reports, or full of energy outdoors but tired soon after you get to work.

Sometimes, the solution needs to be rather unconventional. For example, I know of one company president who was overwhelmed with work. He identified phone calls as being one of the chief energy robbers in his life. It was not so much that each phone call was draining him, but that the calls so frequently interrupted his other tasks that it was hard to get things done. His solution, though radical, was to not answer the phone at all. Instead, he let the answering machine take all of his messages. He set aside two times during the day to return phone calls, and returned them as briefly as possible. Whenever possible, he delegated the return phone call to someone else in his office to further minimize the negative impact of the task that drained him.

Energy Robbers in Your Food and Environment

You might think of the environment as the great outdoors but the environment that concerns us in this book is what is all around you. It includes things like the lighting in your home and workplace, cooling and heating, air quality, the fabrics, fragrances and cosmetic preparations you wear, and the many other details of your daily surroundings. These factors and the particular foods you eat can be serious energy robbers that drain your adrenal resources. If you feel groggy or tired in particular locations or clothing, or after eating certain foods, or around some odors and fragrances, then examine which foods and environmental factors are energy robbers for you. Removing or changing the offending items can do a lot to alleviate these body burdens and free up your energy.

Image Credits: Bumper sticker photo by Flickr user mtsofan

Adapted from Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome

About the Author:

Dr. James L. WilsonWith a researcher’s grasp of science and a clinician’s understanding of its human impact, Dr. Wilson has helped many physicians understand the physiology behind and treatment of various health conditions. He is acknowledged as an expert on alternative medicine, especially in the area of stress and adrenal function. Dr. Wilson is a respected and sought after lecturer and consultant in the medical and alternative healthcare communities in the United States and abroad. His popular book Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome has been received enthusiastically by physicians and the public alike, and has sold over 400,000 copies. Dr. Wilson resides with his family in sunny Tucson, Arizona.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nutrition Essentials: Why You Need Magnesium

Nutrition Essentials: Why You Need Magnesium

magnesium crystals

It is almost impossible to find a part of the body that wouldn’t be affected by a magnesium deficiency. For example: your brain, cardiovascular and digestive systems, muscular and nervous systems, liver and kidneys, hormone secreting glands and even your blood all rely on magnesium for proper metabolic functioning. Like other macro minerals, your body doesn’t naturally produce magnesium. In this blog we’ll take a closer look at the roles magnesium plays in the body, what happens when you don’t get enough, and my recommended food sources.

Magnesium and Bone Health

Did you know nearly two-thirds of all magnesium in your body is found in your bones? Bone magnesium plays two quite different roles. Some of it aids in the physical structure of the bone, while some of it acts as a cache for the body to draw from if levels are low. Incorporating magnesium rich foods into your diet and supplementing when necessary can help support bone health now and in the future.

Magnesium, Nerves and Muscle Relaxation

woman relaxing in a beach chairMagnesium is commonly known as the anti-cramp mineral, but did you know that your nerves also depend upon magnesium to avoid becoming overexcited? Both magnesium and calcium work together to help regulate your body’s nerve and muscle tone. Here’s how: Magnesium serves as a chemical gate blocker in many of the body’s nerve cells. Magnesium helps oppose the activity of calcium, preventing it from moving too quickly and activating the nerve. This delicate balance helps to keep nerves (and therefore muscles) relaxed. Too little magnesium causes nerve cells to activate and become over-excited. This imbalance can trigger muscle fatigue and tension, cramps, spasms and muscle soreness.

Magnesium And Blood Pressure

Research has shown that diets high in magnesium, potassium, and calcium, and low in sodium and fat are associated with lower blood pressure. Practitioners often call magnesium ”nature’s calcium channel blocker” because it mimics what calcium channel blocker heart drugs do to modulate vascular tone. Magnesium also stimulates nitric oxide, a process that happens when we exercise, which helps us to relax by dilating blood vessels. One of the first things I recommend to those struggling with high blood pressure is to check that they’re getting enough magnesium.

Magnesium, Adrenal Function and the Stress Response

Magnesium acts like a spark plug for the adrenal glands and for the energy system of every cell in the body. It is essential to the enzyme and energy generation necessary for the adrenal hormone cascade that produces hormones like cortisol to deal with stress. Several of the steps that create energy in every cell, and especially in the adrenal glands, are dependent on magnesium. When there is not enough magnesium, the stress response can be triggered with less provocation, leading to increased irritability and frustration.

Signs You May be Deficient in Magnesium

Because magnesium does so much, signs of deficiency can vary greatly. Many initial symptoms involve small muscle changes, including weakness, tremors, and spasms. Do you tire easy, or are your muscles often cramped and sore? Is premenstrual pain a regular part of your monthly cycle? These are also possible signs of a magnesium deficiency. Because of its role in bone structure, the softening and weakening of bone can also be a symptom of magnesium deficiency. Other signs of magnesium deficiency include headaches, hypertension, anxiety, depression, nausea, lack of appetite, and difficulty sleeping. For restlessness at night, I recommend taking 400mg of magnesium citrate about a half an hour before bedtime.

How Magnesium Deficiency Happens

Did you know the health of your digestive system and kidneys have a lot to do with magnesium levels? Magnesium is absorbed primarily in the intestines and is then transported through the blood to cells and tissues. Your body only uses one-third to one-half of the magnesium you take in, the rest is passed through sweat and urination. For this reason, it pays to optimize digestive and kidney function to increase the uptake of magnesium. Certain digestive disorders, like irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease, can hamper mineral absorption. These conditions can deplete the body’s magnesium storage and can sometimes lead to deficiency. Poorly-controlled diabetes can also lead to mineral loss in the body.

If these signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency seem familiar to you, I urge you to speak with a practitioner. Getting your fill of magnesium daily is important, though many signs and symptoms of a deficiency can be caused by other issues as well. It’s always best to make sure of the cause before you start trying to fix yourself.

Food Sources of Magnesium

Here’s some of the foods on my “Magnesium V.I.P.” list. These foods have high yield per serving, and offer other essential nutrients as well.

  • roasted pumpkin seeds by Flickr user jaxzinPumpkin seeds (raw): 184.58 mg per 1/4 cup
  • Spinach (boiled): 156.60 mg per 1 cup
  • Swiss chard: 150.50 mg per 1 cup
  • Soybeans (cooked): 147.92 mg per 1 cup
  • Salmon (baked): 138.34 mg per 100 gr
  • Sunflower seeds (raw): 127.44 mg per 100 gr
  • Sesame seeds (raw): 126.36 mg per 1/4 cup
  • Halibut (baked): 121.35 mg per 100 gr
  • Black beans: 120.40 mg per 1 cup
  • Navy beans: 107.38 mg per 1 cup
  • Almonds (roasted): 98.67 mg per 1/4 cup

Image Credits: Magnesium crystals via Wikimedia Commons; Roasted pumpkin seeds by Flickr user jaxzin

About the Author:

Dr Eric Bakker, NZ naturopathic physicianEric Bakker B.H.Sc. (Comp.Med), N.D, R.Hom. is a highly experienced naturopathic physician who has been in clinical practice for 25 years. Eric is passionate about improving people’s lives through proven wellness and lifestyle principles, natural medicine practice as well as public and professional practitioner education. Eric specialises in candida yeast infections, as well as adrenal fatigue, and thyroid disorders. Dr. Bakker has written one of the most comprehensive books on yeast infections called Candida Crusher. Website:  candidacrusher.com  You can complete his online survey to determine if you have a yeast infection here, or link through to his many YouTube videos: www.yeastinfection.org  Dr. Bakker’s Blog:  www.ericbakker.com

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Nutrition Essentials: Why Your Body Needs (Complete) Protein

Nutrition Essentials: Why Your Body Needs (Complete) Protein

Myoglobin

No, this isn’t confetti. It’s a closeup of myoglobin, a type of protein.

Most people, vegetarian or not, don’t eat enough protein to sustain them throughout the day. So what’s the big deal? Proteins are essential to the building, maintenance and repair of your body’s tissues such as your skin, internal organs and muscles. Proteins break down to amino acids, the building blocks of many parts of your body–even blood cells, which make up your immune system and hormones.

So you’re probably asking, “Okay then, how much do I need?” There’s no one size fits all recommendations for protein, but the more active you are the bigger your body’s demand becomes. This demand can be from mental or physical work. A person’s required protein intake also depends on sex, height, weight and exercise levels, but a normal protein intake ranges anywhere from 20 to 50 grams with each meal. In many cases, I have found that when a person eats more quality protein they start to notice improvements in energy levels, mood, sleep and their overall levels of well-being.

Incomplete vs. Complete Proteins

quinoa with mushrooms and kale by Flickr user sweetonveg

Quinoa is widely considered to be a complete protein

Proteins are made up of substances called amino acids, 22 of which are considered essential for good health. Your body can make 14, but the other 8–known as essential amino acids–must be obtained from diet and supplementation. Proteins are classified into two types: complete and incomplete. If the protein in a food provides adequate essential amino acids, it is considered a complete protein. If the food does not provide all the essential amino acids, it is considered an incomplete protein.

Proteins are found in most types of food, but only a few qualify as a complete protein. Those that make the grade are most meats, eggs, and cheeses (animal-derived foods). Soybeans, quinoa, spirulina, seaweed, hempseed, amaranth and a few other non-animal derived foods are also considered complete proteins. Incomplete protein foods can be combined to include all essential amino acids, forming a complete protein. Some examples are rice and beans, milk and wheat cereal, and corn and beans.

Sources of Protein

dairy products by Flickr user jamiesrabbitsDon’t go heavy on dairy. Many people who go light on meats go heavy on dairy products, especially cheese and milk. This can create more problems than benefits, especially if one has a sensitivity or intolerance to dairy products (as so many people do). If you have any allergies, consider avoiding all dairy products for some time. So how do you get your fair share of calcium? There are non-dairy foods that contain significant amounts of calcium, including spinach, broccoli, tofu, salmon, almonds, parsley, and dried figs. You do not need to depend on cow’s milk for calcium, and probably shouldn’t bother with it at all unless you can get natural, raw milk. As for yogurt products, look at the labels. Avoid the ones “enhanced” with artificial flavors or corn syrup. Low-fat dairy products tend to be packed with carbohydrates and should be avoided as well.

Avoid processed meats. Avoid most meats from the deli, especially sausages, processed meats, salami, bacon and hams. Stick to naturally cooked or raw chicken, fish, beef, bison, sheep, or goat (organic when possible).

Eat more fish. Fish can be a great source of protein and essential fatty acids. With fish, be cautious of the source. I recommend avoiding farmed fish when possible. Opt for wild caught, if available.

Be careful with unfermented soy. Soy is a healthy food when consumed in fermented form like tempeh or miso. I generally recommend avoiding soy milk, especially to those with an allergy or sensitivity, but also to those with thyroid issues. That said, a regular glass of soy milk can be beneficial for older males and menopausal women (if well tolerated). I do not believe that all unfermented soy is “poison.” I have known many people who have eaten soy protein for many years with no health concerns. Ultimately, it is YOU who decides what is right, and informed consent is the way to go.

Don’t forget the nuts and seeds. Regular servings of fresh nuts and seeds can help manage blood sugar levels throughout the day. Aim for a handful each day, and be sure to chew well. Fresh nuts are best, and my personal favorite choices are almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts and hazelnuts. Generally speaking I say avoid peanuts, and be cautious with cashews (high fat) and pistachios (high in salt).

Image Credits: Myoglobin via Wikimedia Commons; Quinoa by Flickr user sweetonveg; Dairy products by Flickr user jamesrabbits

About the Author:

Dr Eric Bakker, NZ naturopathic physicianEric Bakker B.H.Sc. (Comp.Med), N.D, R.Hom. is a highly experienced naturopathic physician who has been in clinical practice for 25 years. Eric is passionate about improving people’s lives through proven wellness and lifestyle principles, natural medicine practice as well as public and professional practitioner education. Eric specialises in candida yeast infections, as well as adrenal fatigue, and thyroid disorders. Dr. Bakker has written one of the most comprehensive books on yeast infections called Candida Crusher. Website:  candidacrusher.com  You can complete his online survey to determine if you have a yeast infection here, or link through to his many YouTube videos: www.yeastinfection.org  Dr. Bakker’s Blog:  www.ericbakker.com

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Dr. Bakker’s Tips for Healthy Eating on a Tight Budget

Dr. Bakker’s Tips for Healthy Eating on a Tight Budget

foods at a produce standThere’s a common misconception that you have to be wealthy to eat healthy. The fact is, processed and prepared meals are usually much more costly than their natural counterparts. And if you’re calculating health cost, it’s simple: no one can afford to eat junk food. Here are some tips that I bet can not only make your grocery haul healthier, but also cheaper:

  • Choose local whenever possible. A lot of produce and meat in stores is trucked in from another state, or even another country. Food loses freshness and nutrient value during transit. Buying home-grown ensures freshness and supports local business.
  • Always bring a list. Even if you’re going in for a few items, list it up. Going off a list makes it much easier to avoid overspending and buying things you don’t need.
  • Don’t stress about organic. If the organic option isn’t affordable, go with ‘regular.’ With fruits and vegetables, a good wash should take care of any pesticide residue or germs. There are simple natural washes you can make at home for this purpose (here’s a couple via The Sprouting Seed).
  • Scope out your local food co-op and market scene. Many local growers and producers will sell the public, even if they don’t advertise. Need help with your search? There are websites where you can search your area for locally grown food. LocalHarvest.org and EatWellGuide.org are good places to get started.
  • Stay away from premade, precooked and processed foods from the frozen and pantry sections. They may seem cheap, but you’re basically paying for artificial flavor, lots of salt, and very little to no nutrition. A better solution is to make an entrée in bulk, then freeze single, meal-ready portions that are just as fast but much healthier.
  • Become a meal planner. Many of us will shrug when asked ‘what’s for dinner?’ Planning meals ahead of time, if even for a few days, makes it easier to stay disciplined and avoid opting for takeout or delivery. If you’re about to make that call, think of the groceries you could buy with the money from one takeout order. You might be shocked!
  • Keep the impulses in check. Avoid those register sale cookies and giant bags of fat and salt-ridden chips. Just say no! Your wallet (and digestive system) will thank you.
  • Buy fresh over frozen. Fresh and raw produce will always be the best option. Choose fresh over frozen whenever possible, and when not choose frozen over canned.
  • Stick with what you need. Do a fridge, freezer and pantry check before grocery shopping. Make note of things you already have stock of to avoid overbuying.
  • Check out the store brands. For most things there is little to no discernable difference, and many times it’s the exact same product as the name brand but with a different label!
  • Become coupon-savvy. Coupons are all over: in the mail, online, on your receipts, and even on the product itself.
  • Always take a calculator. Not all price tags list the per unit price. Using a calculator makes it easier to compare and break down unit prices. Don’t forget: most phones have a basic calculator (even the old flip phones!).
  • Stick to the periphery. In most food stores, produce and other fresh foods are located around the outsides, with processed and frozen foods in the middle aisles. It will also save time to not have to cruise up and down each aisle.
  • Buy in bulk when it makes sense. Many foods you’ll use regularly–particularly grains, flours, nuts, cereals, and spices–are available in bulk. These bulk items are usually much cheaper per unit than prepackaged versions, so you get more for less money.
  • Check store flyers before heading out. If you have options, check weekly flyers to compare prices and specials. Use this to help build your list.
  • Grown your own. If you have space for growing, make the most of it. Even a tiny plot or indoor herb garden can make a difference. Growing ensures freshness, a clean source, and you’ll feel good about growing your own food!
  • Always check your bill. Technology has made checkout a quicker and more accurate experience, but mistakes happen. Go over your receipt to check for any inaccuracies before leaving the store.

About the Author:

Dr Eric Bakker, NZ naturopathic physicianEric Bakker B.H.Sc. (Comp.Med), N.D, R.Hom. is a highly experienced naturopathic physician who has been in clinical practice for 25 years. Eric is passionate about improving people’s lives through proven wellness and lifestyle principles, natural medicine practice as well as public and professional practitioner education. Eric specialises in candida yeast infections, as well as adrenal fatigue, and thyroid disorders. Dr. Bakker has written one of the most comprehensive books on yeast infections called Candida Crusher. Website:  candidacrusher.com  You can complete his online survey to determine if you have a yeast infection here, or link through to his many YouTube videos: www.yeastinfection.org  Dr. Bakker’s Blog:  www.ericbakker.com

 

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Frequently Asked Questions on Adrenal Fatigue, Part 2

Frequently Asked Questions on Adrenal Fatigue, Part 2

Part 1 can be read here

Q: What exactly is adrenal fatigue?

stressed out soldier by Flickr user Justin ConnaherAdrenal fatigue is any decrease (but not failure) in the ability of the adrenal glands to carry out their normal functions. The chief symptom of adrenal fatigue is, indeed, fatigue, but is accompanied by many other signs and symptoms. Adrenal fatigue occurs when stress from any source (physical, emotional, mental, or environmental) exceeds, either cumulatively or in intensity, the body’s capacity to adjust appropriately to the demands placed upon it by the stress. When this happens, the adrenals become fatigued and are unable to continue responding adequately to further stress. Adrenal fatigue can wreak havoc with your life.

In the more serious cases, the activity of the adrenal glands is so diminished that you may have difficulty getting out of bed for more than a few hours per day. With each increment of reduction in adrenal function, every organ and system in your body is more profoundly affected. Changes occur in your carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism, fluid and electrolyte balance, heart and cardiovascular system, and even sex drive. Many other alterations take place at the biochemical and cellular levels in response to and to compensate for the decrease in adrenal hormones that occurs with adrenal fatigue. Your body does its best to make up for under-functioning adrenal glands, but it does so at a price.

Q: What’s the difference between adrenal fatigue, hypoadrenia, Addison’s and Cushing’s?

Hypoadrenia more commonly manifests itself within a broad spectrum of less serious, yet often debilitating, disorders that are only too familiar to many people. This spectrum has been known by many names throughout the past century, such as non-Addison’s hypoadrenia, sub-clinical hypoadrenia, neurasthenia, adrenal neurasthenia, adrenal apathy and adrenal fatigue. I prefer to use the term adrenal fatigue when referring to this common form of hypoadrenia. Not only does it remind us of the chief symptom of hypoadrenia, but it also most aptly describes this common syndrome in which the paramount symptom is fatigue. Adrenal fatigue affects millions of people in the U.S. and around the world in many ways and for many reasons.

Addison’s Disease is a rare, chronic endocrine disorder where the adrenal glands do not produce enough hormones. This condition is typically caused by damage to the adrenal glands, usually by the body’s own immune system. Cushing’s Syndrome is the result of prolonged exposure to high levels of cortisol–the stress hormone–usually due to external causes, like prolonged corticosteroid use. Cushing’s Disease is also the result of excess cortisol, though is caused by internal sources (typically a pituitary tumor). Addison’s and both forms of Cushing’s are quite serious and require immediate and sometimes chronic treatment.

Q: Does adrenal fatigue affect the thyroid gland?

In short, yes. Approximately 80% of the people suffering from adrenal fatigue also suffer some form of decreased thyroid function. Often people who are shown to be low thyroid and are unresponsive to thyroid therapy are suffering from adrenal fatigue as well. For these people to get well, the adrenals must be supported in addition to the thyroid. If your adrenal fatigue has a thyroid component, it is usually necessary to strengthen both the adrenals and the thyroid simultaneously for full recovery to take place.

Q: Can adrenal fatigue become chronic?

Yes, in some people the adrenal glands do not return to normal levels of function without help, either because the stress was too great or too prolonged, or because their general health is poor. However, when adrenal fatigue becomes chronic it is almost always because of factors that can be changed. That is why I wrote this book, to provide the knowledge people need to recover from adrenal fatigue.

Q: My physician says there’s no such thing as adrenal fatigue. What do I do?

Unfortunately, this is the view of many conventional doctors, but they are not as well informed as they believe. Adrenal fatigue was first diagnosed over 100 years ago and has been successfully treated for decades. However, for various reasons that largely have to do with the close association between medicine and the pharmaceutical industry, the medical community has ignored the existence of adrenal fatigue syndrome over the past 40 years. The best thing to do is to switch to a doctor who is familiar with adrenal fatigue. If you need help, you can search our database of practitioners nationwide.

Image credit: Soldier on floor with head in hands by Flickr user Justin Connaher

 

 

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Human Response Patterns to Stress: Paths to Adrenal Fatigue

Human Response Patterns to Stress: Paths to Adrenal Fatigue

Many of my patients who suffered from the effects adrenal fatigue and chronic stress often asked: “How did I end up this way?” The descriptions given below are brief snapshots of the most common patterns of adrenal fatigue I have seen clinically over the past twenty-four years. It is important to realize that these are not one size fits all and each person suffering from adrenal fatigue has his or her own variation.

Pattern #1 – Prolonged resistance phase followed by adrenal fatigue

super office worker with capeThe first pattern is what is popularly referred to as the “ironman / ironwoman.” These are people who seem to be bothered by nothing. They maintain a resistance stage most of their lives, being able to handle anything thrown at them. Although stress may get them down for a day or two, they predictably bounce back as good as new. Usually these people remain in a resistance stage until late in life when old age diminishes their adrenal function. Clinically, these people would appear to have lost some of their previous ability to handle stress following a major life event (accident, illness, highly emotional situation, etc.).

An example of this pattern is the person who can handle anything at work. They take on larger work loads and does whatever is demanded with no problem. Then one day an extremely stressful event occurs, such as a major illness, surgery, or a marital break-up, and after that they seem much less able to handle the stresses of their job. Even after a time of recovery they may not be able to be that same go-getter. If salivary cortisol levels were checked carefully, they would probably be mildly elevated at first, but after the event they would be mildly suppressed. If they took my questionnaire it would likely show many of the indications of hypoadrenia or adrenal fatigue.

Chances are the ironman or ironwoman did not view the added workload and responsibilities as stress, but rather something gladly taken on. However, the added responsibilities and work were their undoing. This is a very common pattern, and these people usually have an excellent chance of recovery if they can avoid the temptation to live on a constant “adrenal high” (that rush of continually pushing themselves to the brink to take on the world). If they continually push themselves, they can develop a pattern like the last part of this pattern or like #3.

Pattern #2 – A single stressor followed by adrenal fatigue

stressed woman sitting by herself at conference tableThere is a type of adrenal fatigue that can occur in people after only one stressful event. This pattern is similar to the first except there is no long phase of resistance. There is the typical alarm reaction and recovery phase, but only partial recovery is seen. These people never totally rebound from the recovery phase. Instead of progressing to the resistance phase, their cortisol levels remain below average, but at a level just high enough to allow them to get through daily life, but with many of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue.
Because the adrenal glands in these people do not have the resiliency to rebound after a severe stress, they have to function at a lower level with decreased adrenal output (as evidenced by the low cortisol levels). These people can recover with diet and lifestyle changes, dedicated adrenal support, as well as making strong efforts to reduce and manage their daily stress load.

Pattern #3 – Repeated partial recovery followed by recurring
adrenal fatigue

redlining gauge by Flickr user thatguyfromcchs08This pattern occurs when people experience a series of stressful events over time that keeps their adrenal glands working at redline levels until the point their adrenals become fatigued and the stress response weakens. After an initial shock or alarm reaction these types go through repeated cycles of resistance and exhaustion, but each time they are able to return to a stage of resistance and function with above normal levels of cortisol. These people can carry on in a stage of resistance for several years until another major stressor or a series of stressors overwhelms them, after which is usually a longer recovery phase that once again elevates them to the stage of resistance. The larger the stress, the longer the recovery.

The people who follow this pattern usually have relatively strong adrenals but are unable or unwilling to change their continual encounters with stressful situations. Over time life beats them down, leaving them much less able to endure stresses that they previously would have handled with ease. These can be very willful individuals who refuse to change or they can also simply be people who unavoidably experience an unfortunate series of circumstances in life. Guidelines for recovery in this phase are the same as the last.

Pattern #4 – Gradual decline into adrenal fatigue

This is a pattern of gradually decreasing resistance to stress. The people who exhibit this pattern experience many stresses over time but with each event their level of recovery diminishes. They are less and less able to return to high or even normal cortisol levels until, finally, their adrenals become so fatigued that they cannot handle anything more stressful than an uneventful routine day. Cortisol levels may start out higher than normal but gradually drop below normal and then remain low, unless a concerted effort is made to help their adrenals recover. With time and dedication to a recovery program, those in this pattern can also bounce back.

This is a frequent pattern seen in strong willed perfectionist people who constantly subjugate their own needs to “do their duty.” It may be work, family or social demands that drive them, but the result is often the same. This is also a frequent pattern seen in single parents or in people who refuse to ask for help, trying to do it all themselves. Changing their physiology to recovery from adrenal fatigue is usually not the challenge. The challenge comes with changing the attitudes and beliefs that have driven them to adrenal fatigue.

Image Credits: Redlining gauge by Flickr user thatguyfromcchs08

About the Author:

Dr. James L. WilsonWith a researcher’s grasp of science and a clinician’s understanding of its human impact, Dr. Wilson has helped many physicians understand the physiology behind and treatment of various health conditions. He is acknowledged as an expert on alternative medicine, especially in the area of stress and adrenal function. Dr. Wilson is a respected and sought after lecturer and consultant in the medical and alternative healthcare communities in the United States and abroad. His popular book Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome has been received enthusiastically by physicians and the public alike, and has sold over 400,000 copies. Dr. Wilson resides with his family in sunny Tucson, Arizona.

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General Adaptation Syndrome: When Stress takes Over

General Adaptation Syndrome: When Stress takes Over

Stress can be a real killer. How do we learn to deal with it in a healthy way? To answer that, first let us look at general adaptation syndrome and the role the adrenal glands and their hormones play in activating it. General adaptation syndrome is the pattern of physiological adjustments your body makes in response to your environment (including your emotional environment). It has three phases: alarm, resistance and exhaustion. Understanding these phases will help you to understand why your body responds the way it does to stress, as well as how to help minimize its harmful effects.

The Alarm Phase (AKA The “Fight-or-Flight” Response)

red alarm on a yellow wallThe initial response to stress is the alarm reaction, better known as the “fight-or-flight” response. This reaction is a complex chain of physical and biochemical changes brought about by the interaction of your brain, the nervous system and a variety of different hormones. Your body goes on full alert, responding to the stress chemicals released into the blood stream (such as adrenaline) by increasing blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen intake, and blood flow to the muscles.

The alarm stage is usually short lived. Typically the increased adrenaline lasts a few minutes to a few hours and is followed by a drop in adrenaline, cortisol and other adrenal hormones that lasts a few hours to a few days, depending upon the magnitude of the stress. After the alarm reaction is over, your body goes through a temporary recovery phase that typically lasts 24-48 hours. During this time there is less cortisol secreted, your body is less able to respond to stress, and the mechanisms overstimulated in the initial alarm phase become resistant to more stimulation. In this let recovery phase you feel more tired and listlessness, and have a desire to rest.

The Resistance Phase

tug of war to represent the resistance phase of general adaptation syndromeAfter the recovery phase, if there is additional stress or a series of stressors your body goes into “the phase of resistance.” Entering this phase lets your body keep fighting a stressor long after the effects of the fight-or-flight response have worn off. Cortisol is largely responsible for this stage, which stimulates the conversion of proteins, fats and carbohydrates to energy through a process called gluconeogenesis. This process ensures your body has a large supply of energy long after glucose stores in the liver and muscles have been exhausted. Cortisol also promotes the retention of sodium to keep your blood pressure elevated and your heart contracting strongly. The resistance reaction provides you with the necessary energy and circulatory changes you need to deal effectively with stress.

Cortisol is a powerful anti-inflammatory hormone that, in small quantities, speeds tissue repair, but in larger quantities depresses the body’s immune defense system. A prolonged resistance reaction increases the risk of significant disease (including high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer) because the continual presence of elevated levels of cortisol overstimulates the individual cells and they begin to break down. Your body goes on trying to adapt under increasing strain and pressure. If this phase goes on too long your body systems weaken, leading to exhaustion (the third stage). The resistance reaction phase can continue for years, but because each of us has a different physiology and life experience the amount of time one can remain in this phase is unpredictable.

The Exhaustion Phase

exhausted man sitting on floor by Flickr user randomechoSome people never experience the exhaustion phase; others visit it several times in their life. In the exhaustion stage there may be a total collapse of body function, or a collapse of specific organs or systems. During this phase, lower levels of cortisol and aldosterone are secreted, leading to decreased gluconeogenesis, rapid hypoglycemia, sodium loss and potassium retention. Body cells function less effectively in this condition as they rely heavily on a proper amount of blood glucose and the ratio of sodium to potassium. As a result, your body becomes weak. This means that during the exhaustion phase your body lacks the very things that would make you feel good and able to perform well.

When adrenal corticosteroid hormones are depleted, blood sugar levels drop because low cortisol levels lead to decreased gluconeogenesis. This means that your body is less able to produce its own blood glucose from stored fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, leaving you more dependent on food intake. Simultaneously, insulin levels are still high. The combination of low cortisol and high insulin levels leads to a slowing of glucose production and a speeding of glucose absorption into the cells. Hypoglycemia results because the body cells do not get the glucose and other nutrients they require. When energy and electrolytes once again become available and the cellular stress decreases, the damaged cell must be repaired or replaced.

The reactivation of normal cell functions is an energy consuming series of events that uses up a greater amount of energy than is normally required. Yet this has to take place in a situation in which your body is struggling just to produce enough energy to maintain some semblance of homeostasis! Uninterrupted, excessive stress eventually exhausts your adrenal glands. They become unable to produce adequate cortisol or aldosterone. This combined effect on your kidneys of too little aldosterone can lead to collapse, and in some extreme cases even death. Anyone in this phase should seek immediate medical assistance.

Knowing how to best manage stress can be very helpful, regardless of stage. Here are some blogs that include healthy ways to manage stress:

Breathing and Meditation Techniques for Stress Relief

8 Things You Can Do to Make Daily Life Better (and Healthier)

Dr. Bakker’s 7 Tips for Dealing with Tension and Anxiety

Stress: It’s All in the Management

Image Credits: tug of war by Flickr user toffehoff; exhausted man sitting on floor by Flickr user randomecho

About the Author:

Dr. James L. WilsonWith a researcher’s grasp of science and a clinician’s understanding of its human impact, Dr. Wilson has helped many physicians understand the physiology behind and treatment of various health conditions. He is acknowledged as an expert on alternative medicine, especially in the area of stress and adrenal function. Dr. Wilson is a respected and sought after lecturer and consultant in the medical and alternative healthcare communities in the United States and abroad. His popular book Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome has been received enthusiastically by physicians and the public alike, and has sold over 400,000 copies. Dr. Wilson resides with his family in sunny Tucson, Arizona.

 

 

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Got Stress? Dr. Wilson Says Relax

 Got Stress? Dr. Wilson Says Relax

When you say relax people tend to think of leisurely activities, like watching TV or reading a magazine. However, physiological relaxation is a set of specific internal changes that occur when your mind and body are calm. It is not the same as sleep, rest or having fun. Physiological relaxation is the one internal state that can protect your body from the harmful effects of too much stress. Below are six different relaxation techniques. I encourage you to read through each  and start with the one that sounds best.

1) Belly-Breathing

This is the most natural kind of breathing, although it may feel unfamiliar initially. If you have ever watched a baby breathing you have seen belly-breathing; the belly, rather than the chest, expands and contracts. This allows the air to reach the lower part of your lungs, where there is a rich blood supply. This triggers the relaxation response within a few minutes.

hands in heart shape on belly by Flickr user Dylan LuderTo begin, take 10 minutes when you will not be interrupted. Either lie or sit on a comfortable surface that fully supports your body. Place your hands palms down on your abdomen, just below your navel. Close your eyes and pay attention to your breathing without trying to change it; listen to the sound of it, feel it moving in and out of your nose and throat, and notice how far down into your body it seems to go. Then imagine that you have a balloon inside your lower belly, under where your hands are. As you inhale, try to inflate that balloon; as you exhale, let the balloon deflate.

Do not expand your chest as you inhale, just your belly. It is best to breathe through your nose for this exercise but if for some reason you cannot, then it is okay to breathe through your mouth. Continue inflating and deflating the balloon for at least 5 minutes. Bellybreathing may feel awkward or forced the first few times you try it but soon it will feel quite natural.

2) Slowing Down Your Breath

This is a very simple method that you can use even when you are in the midst of doing something else. Whenever you notice you are feeling tense and uptight, check and see how you are breathing. Most people under stress either alternate holding their breath with taking barely perceptible short breaths, or take rapid shallow breaths. After you become aware of your own breathing, consciously relax your belly and slow down your breathing. It works best if you focus on slowing down your exhalation rather than your inhalation. With each exhalation you can say to yourself, “slow down.” That is all there is to it–simple but surprisingly effective!

3) Counting Your Exhalations

This is a variation on slowing down your breath that should be done when you can set aside 10 minutes of time to focus. Get comfortable in a relatively quiet place and begin bellybreathing. This time, count slowly from 5 down to 1 with each exhalation. Your mind will probably wander many times, but that’s okay. Calmly bring it back to counting from 5 to 1 during each exhalation. Do this for at least 5 minutes. When you can keep your attention on your breathing for 5 minutes, you can move on to deeper meditation methods.

4) Repeating a Mantra or Affirmation

Buddha statue

The mantra, a specially chosen sound/phrase used in meditation, is an Eastern tradition that has become popular in the West. It seems that the repetition of particular kinds of sounds, words or phrases is a very effective way to clear your mind and trigger the relaxation response when practiced daily.

First you need to choose a word, phrase or sound that is calming to you. Some examples that other people have chosen are, “relax,” “peace,” “I am still,” and “I open my heart.” Take 15-20 minutes in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. Sit or lie down with your back straight and close your eyes. Focus your attention either between your eyebrows (mind center) or in the middle of your chest (heart center). Allow your breathing to slow down and deepen.

When you feel settled, begin repeating your word/phrase/sound out loud or silently. You can repeat it on each inhalation and on each exhalation. Your mind will wander many times, but each time it does gently bring it back to your phrase. You may find yourself frequently falling asleep at first, but keep coming back to the exercise. Do this for at least 15 minutes once or twice a day and you will be amazed at the change in how you feel.

5) Progressive Relaxation

This is a particularly good exercise if you have a lot of stress-related aches and pains or if you have difficulty relaxing. With practice it trains your body to release tension and relax more easily. This exercise takes about 10-20 minutes and is best done lying down. Some people use it to help themselves fall asleep. Take a few slow breaths to get settled and then, starting with your toes, first tighten the muscles in your toes as tight as you can, hold for about 10 seconds and then relax your toes. Next tighten up the muscles in your feet, hold for 10 seconds, and then relax.

Repeat this procedure all the way up until every part of your body has been tensed and then relaxed: calves, knees, thighs, buttocks, hips, abdomen, back, chest, hands, arms, shoulders, upper back, neck, face, and scalp. After you have completed this, imagine a wave of relaxation rolling up your body each time you inhale, and imagine this wave washing all tension out of your body each time you exhale. Do this for a few minutes and then just rest, breathing slowly. You will find that the relaxation you experience with this exercise will get deeper with practice.

Pond in morning light6) The Quiet Pond

Spending some time by a quiet pond, or other still place, allows your cares and burdens to slide down off your shoulders and slip away. It is amazing how refreshing a few minutes beside a pond can be. If you have not had that experience, maybe you have had one of your own–a place you can go that is so peaceful, comforting and renewing, and is hard to leave.

Take time for relaxation every day. When bring feelings of quiet peacefulness into your consciousness, you are doing more than feeling good. You are helping establish balance in your nervous system. Calling forth those images and feelings, even briefly, helps offset the stress building up inside. If you are able to do this at a specific time each day, your body will soon learn that it’s relaxation time, and will begin to bring forth the image and the feelings without any conscious effort on your part.

Image Credits: Hands in heart shape on belly by Flickr user Dylan Luder; Buddha statue by myads; Pond in morning light by Krappweis

About the Author:

Dr. James L. WilsonWith a researcher’s grasp of science and a clinician’s understanding of its human impact, Dr. Wilson has helped many physicians understand the physiology behind and treatment of various health conditions. He is acknowledged as an expert on alternative medicine, especially in the area of stress and adrenal function. Dr. Wilson is a respected and sought after lecturer and consultant in the medical and alternative healthcare communities in the United States and abroad. His popular book Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome has been received enthusiastically by physicians and the public alike, and has sold over 400,000 copies. Dr. Wilson resides in sunny Tucson, Arizona.

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Is Your Healthcare Professional Living Up to Their Name?

Is Your Healthcare Professional Living Up to Their Name?

smiling HCP with patient

Like a good mechanic, a trustworthy practitioner can be hard to find. Is your healthcare professional living up to their name? To avoid working with a lemon who does more harm than good, here’s a checklist of ten things your healthcare practitioner should be doing for you:

1. Putting in the time                                                      

Sometimes visits with your practitioner can feel like speed dating—two minutes and they’re off to the next one. You should be made to feel welcome, at ease, and not in a rush against the clock. During each visit you should have time to express all your complaints and concerns, and ask any questions you have. Does your practitioner watch the clock and seem aloof?

2. Taking a complete medical history

During the initial visit, your practitioner should ask extensive questions about your medical history to get a detailed sense of you. Make sure your practitioner knows more about your conditions than you do! A practitioner worth their snuff will ask about previous testing, current medications, supplementation, and may ask to see results from previous screens and tests.

3. Displaying credentials and continuing education

All degrees, certificates, and credentials required to practice should be displayed prominently in your practitioner’s office. Don’t be afraid to ask where their training took place, how long they’ve been in practice, and what kind of continued education they pursue. You’re entrusting them with your most precious asset—your life and well-being!—so don’t be shy.

4. Performing basic screens each visit

Basic health checks such as blood pressure and weight are important, but are often ignored. These tests are important and can be used to assess or correct any issues. Avoid practitioners who seem to develop amnesia each time they see you. Your practitioner should be able to grab your file and, after a quick review, resume where you left off last time. Beware a messy, unorganized office.

5. Breaking down diagnoses

Your practitioner should be able to clearly explain any diagnosis given, along with the pros and cons of possible treatments. You should be able to leave the office with more answers than questions, and confident in the next step. Be cautious of hasty, generic diagnoses or practitioners who shrug and recommend antidepressants.

6. Seeing you in emergency situations

A worthwhile practitioner will be able to make time for true emergency calls and concerns. Are you able to call yours a day or two after a treatment or prescription and talk about a possible side effect? Are you bluntly told to make an appointment and rushed off the phone? Does it take weeks to hear back, or maybe not at all? It may be time to look elsewhere for healthcare.

7. Keeping track of all medications and supplementation

Your practitioner should be aware of all medications and supplements you’re taking, including over-the-counter medications like Claritin. A caring and aware practitioner will have an understanding of interactions and will be looking out for potential contraindications that could cause side effects. Does your practitioner do this? It’s an extremely important practice.

8. Being transparent with charges and fees

Any practitioner should be able to give you the cost for various procedures, appointments and tests. If your practitioner has trouble explaining costs, or becomes upset at the notion, that’s a red flag. You should never come away from a visit with sticker shock.

9. Scheduling follow-up visits

Not every issue will be remedied with one visit. Follow-up appointments are important and should be scheduled regularly. A caring practitioner will want to monitor you and ensure you’re progressing as you should. If not, he or she should be open to discussing alternatives. Be wary of clinics that ask you to book bulk visits in advance or prepay for services not yet received.

10. Willing to play nice with other practitioners

By being open to working with other doctors or specialists you’re seeing, you’re practitioner is proving to be a true professional. However, some practitioners are quick to judge and trash the tactics and education of others. I think this saying sums it up best: “Condemnation without investigation is the highest form of arrogance.” Don’t let your practitioner bully you or others, and remember: you’re the boss of your own health.

About the Author:

Dr Eric Bakker, NZ naturopathic physicianEric Bakker B.H.Sc. (Comp.Med), N.D, R.Hom. is a highly experienced naturopathic physician who has been in clinical practice for 25 years. Eric is passionate about improving people’s lives through proven wellness and lifestyle principles, natural medicine practice as well as public and professional practitioner education. Eric specialises in candida yeast infections, as well as adrenal fatigue, and thyroid disorders. Dr. Bakker has written one of the most comprehensive books on yeast infections called Candida Crusher. Website:  candidacrusher.com  You can complete his online survey to determine if you have a yeast infection here, or link through to his many YouTube videos: www.yeastinfection.org  Dr. Bakker’s Blog:  www.ericbakker.com

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