Tag Archives: anxiety

Can suicide be in your family’s future?

-Written by Sherry Genga, author of The Shattered Oak

With suicide you never know what thoughts are racing through the saddened mind. Sometimes we can’t fathom that our friend, sibling, mother or father committed suicide. People around them felt like they were so happy, always laughing and smiling, never revealing signs that they were so depressed. Look at Robert Williams the famous comedian, who was always passing a joke. Suicidal people wear a mask and rarely share their true self or feelings. Whether they are ashamed of their depression or feel alone where they cannot trust anyone, they keep their thoughts a secret. Suicidal people want their privacy and don’t have the courage to ask for help when their mental state manifests the thoughts of choosing death. They may feel like they are in a vacuum, with darkness slowly seeping in and their breathing trending towards hyperventilation. Suicidal minds can feel blurred and even upside down, bringing them to the brink of insanity. In successful attempts, their demise is silent and not very forgiving. I know first-hand as a family member experienced several suicide attempts.

            As I described in the book, The Shattered Oak, the victim was a recipient of domestic abuse from her husband. She took solace under the strong oak tree in her front yard. As she sunk further into mental illness, the oak too became distress and ill.  In Barbara’s case she was lucky by surviving three suicide attempts. As we know some aren’t so lucky. I think most of us do occasionally struggle with depression but most filter it back out and let it go. Sometimes struggling makes us a stronger and gives us perspective to let go of our past and absorb our mistakes along the way. Most of us struggle with self-worth issues, but normally we rise to the occasion and succeeded. Depression can intervene in that thought process and cause us to focus on the negative. Psychologists continually try to understand why a person’s negative view of their situation outweighs their desire to live. Clinical studies have shown that stressful situations can actually bring on a form of mental illness where the person is not totally in control of their decisions. For the families of those victims many questions go unanswered.

            Surviving suicide attempts and addressing mental illness can alter our viewpoint. Life is meant to present choices from our experiences that can change us for the positive. Barbara recovered after living through heartaches and burdens that transformed her future. Even those of us who live relatively normal lives, can learn that we have the sole capability to make beneficial choices in life. It’s how we elect to see, digest and live our lives that matters. The survival of the victim and her family in The Shattered Oak inspires us and reminds us that if we are struggling from thoughts of suicide from domestic abuse there are resources available. Family members should watch for the warning signs and not let the victim distance themselves from everyone. Suicide is on the rise and it is time we looked more closely at the link to stress from a variety of conditions including domestic abuse, as a primary trigger.

-More information on the book, The Shattered Oak can be found on the website:

www.theshatteredoak.com

Advertisements

Menopausal reduction of hormones and resulting symptoms.

Going through menopause for some women can be a breeze. But, for the rest of us when our hormone levels are dropping, we can get symptoms. A deficiency of one hormone can trigger a relative excess of another and result in common imbalances such as:

Estrogen dominance or low progesterone can result in mood swings, migraines, fat gain in hips and thighs. Low estrogen or fluctuations of estrogen
t can trigger hot flashes, night sweats, palpitations, foggy thinking, memory lapse & vaginal dryness. Low testosterone or DHEA may lead to decreases in bone or muscle mass, metabolism, energy, strength, stamina, exercise tolerance & libido.

High cortisol (produced by the adrenals as a reaction to stressors which could include hormone imbalance) results in insomnia, anxiety, sugar cravings, feeling tired but wired and  increased belly fat, whereas low cortisol causes chronic fatigue, low energy, food and sugar cravings, poor exercise tolerance or recovery & low immune reserves.

Changes in estrogen and progesterone levels can impact neurotransmitter levels. For instance, a drop in estrogen can result in a drop in serotonin which is you feel good neurotransmitter resulting in more depression or feeling of anxiety.  Changes in estrogen levels can also lead to thyroid symptoms like slowed metabolism and always feeling cold. In fact, many women experiencing menopause will be diagnosed with hypothyroidism.

A simple saliva test can determine your levels and a good naturopath can suggest supplements that may alleviate those conditions. You can also take velvet antler which is the tonic used in Asia for menopause that helps correct hormone imbalances. See the website www.4EasyMenopause.com

Best Tip for Dieting

Did you know that the most widely used tactics for dieting include:

  • Watching portion sizes (34%)
  • Controlling the total amount of food eaten (28%)
  • Reducing the amount of junk food (25%)
  • Monitoring calories (24%)
  • Getting rid of snacks (21%)
  • Reducing sugar (21%)
  • Taking weight loss supplements (over $2 billion spent annually)

Well, there is one way you can cut desire for many fattening foods but it takes a little will power.  We suggest you stop eating all forms of sugar or sweeteners for 10 days. For some reason this is the time it takes for your body to lose its addiction. I know this may be hard so in the meantime try using stevia (an herb) or sucking on a cinnamon stick. Do not substitute artificial sweeteners as not only are they unhealthy, but they will not let you detox the sweet tooth desire.

If you try this (we have and it works) please leave us a comment. And check out our new online course you can watch on vimeo with modules about Joint Health, Stress, Sleep, Memory Loss and more. Click Here for videos

Ten Days to a Longer Life workshop coming soon.

happyseniorEDITWe are finished creating our online workshop Ten Days to a Longer Life. We now need to create the videos for your viewing. Just to give you and idea of the subject matter: Modules on 1.Why we Age 2. Mind over Body 3. Longevity Foods 4. Foods that Derail Longevity. 5. Digestion. 6. Food Intolerance.  7. Basic Longevity Supplements. 8. Joint Problems & Arthritis 9. Stress and Sleep. and several bonus modules including Gluten-free Recipes and an intro module where we tell you our stories and how we treated our symptoms naturally.

If you are on our announcement list, stay tuned for the release date. If not, please download our free ebook Think and Feel Younger and that will put you on the list. http://youngerebook.gr8.com

-Nina Anderson, C.N.L.P., S.P.N., author of 18 books on natural health                     -Suzel Cable, Certified Nutrition Coach

 

 

We need help with a longevity survey

AAladyLOGOWe are getting ready to put together a course “Ten Days to Living Longer” and have been asking folks to take a short survey so we can determine what to include. Folks so far have been saying they are concerned about joints, eyes, cardio, energy levels and memory. If you have a minute (really its just about a minute) could you take the survey too? On the thank you page there is a link so you can get a free download of our ebook “Think and Feel Younger” for your trouble. We will keep you posted on other additions to the survey as they come in.

Click Here for the survey.

 

 

Alternatives to drugs for stress and anxiety.

headacheAccording to the American Psychological Assn., the number of people who suffer from stress and anxiety has increased by 44% over the last five years. General anxiety disorders affect over 6 million people with women complaining of stress twice as much as men. Stress can be brought on by so many reasons, from rushed deadlines, social fears, childhood trauma, traumatic events to illness.

Natural approaches to stress may be tried before drugs. Starting with supporting the brain, good nutrition is essential including foods such as fish, hemp, avocados, coconut and nuts. Since the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline are responsible for creating equilibrium we need to realize that chronic stress can negatively affect the thyroid, blood sugar, bone density, belly fat production and cognitive performance.

In addition to relaxation techniques that include meditation, yoga, exercise, guided imagery and self hypnosis, you may consider taking holy basil which will have a calming effect which acts as a mild nervine due to it’s action that reduces histamine responses in the blood . Ashwaganda is another herb that helps in reducing cortisol levels.  Rhodiola rosea is especially effective at curbing depression, decreasing fatigue and enhancing mental sharpness by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is considered the happy hormone. You have to be careful with rhodiola as it needs to be harvested at its peak and not past peak growing. Many cheaper supplements don’t care about that and you won’t get the effectiveness.

Astragalus is an adaptogenic herb that helps protect the body from prolonged stress. When processed correctly, it helps inhibit chromosomal instability by creating a healthy telomere microenvironment. This impacts telomere length (caps at the end of the DNA strand that prevents the DNA from unraveling or breaking) reducing cellular death and slows the aging process. L-Theanine is an amino acid (a building block for proteins) found in green tea. Evidence from human electroencephalograph (EEG) studies show that it has a direct effect on the brain. L-theanine significantly increases activity in the alpha frequency band which indicates that it relaxes the mind without inducing drowsiness. It increases serotonin and  stimulates the brain’s alpha waves which induces relaxation. These two are a good combination and when I take a supplement that has them in it, I feel happy and my stress levels reduce. I call this MY HAPPY PILL.  If you want to read more about it go to the website www.LongLifeNews.com and click on Cell Metrix. I’ve tried lots of supplements for stress and this one seems to get me smiling and let me cope much better with daily stresses, road rage and the computer !

PS>If you want my new free e-book Think and Feel Younger click here.

Drug alternative for stress.

Widely prescribed by doctors for anxiety and stress is a class of drugs know as benzodiazepines with common brand names like Xanax, Librium, Valium and Ativan. This drug binds to the GABA receptors in the body which treats these conditions but with a list of side effects like drowsiness, lethargy and fatigue. Taking too much can result in impaired motor coordination, dizziness, vertigo, slurred speech, blurry vision and erratic behavior.

So what is the alternative? L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea and some mushrooms, according to studies significantly increases brain activity in the alpha frequency band which is associated with relaxing the mind without inducing drowsiness. Its results in studies, show a reduction in stress indicators within 15 minutes, heart rate reduction, significantly reducing anxiety and reducing blood pressure increases in high-stress response situations. The studies used between 100-200 mg of L-theanine daily. No adverse side-effects were found.

Supplementation with L-theanine also helped mental focus and reduced error rates by improving the processes of filtering out redundant or unnecessary stimuli in the brain from all possible environmental stimuli. Although this is a great alternative to drugs, and if you are currently taking them don’t just stop, but talk to a physician who is tuned in to both drugs and natural supplements.

-excerpted from Supplement Science by Gene Bruno, MS, MHS. Vitamin Retailer August 2015

 

Magnesium needed if you are stressed!

Magnesium is responsible for converting light energy from the sun into biochemical energy for life process on earth (center of the chlorophyll molecule). It is a direct cofactor in over 300 enzymatic reactions involving DNA and RNA synthesis, protein synthesis, glucose uptake and metabolism and has a major role in releasing energy from ATP in the body.

 

It is implicated in hormone synthesis, nerve cell function, digestion and muscle contraction/relaxation, responses of heart and blood vessels and our emotional state. But, only about half of the population gets enough magnesium from the foods they eat. RDAs run from 300-420 mg/day with older folks needing more and for those of us who are under stress.

 

Magnesium deficiency can induce anxiety and can also cause depression according to Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, Nutritional Magnesium Assn. medical advisory board. “A deficiency of magnesium magnifies anxiety, depression and stress. Serotonin, the feel-good brain chemical that is boosted artificially by some medications, depends on magnesium for its production and function. If the deficit is not corrected anxiety, depression and further health problems can linger.”

 

Under stress your body pumps magnesium out of the cells and into the blood making normal lab test show you have enough when in fact, you have body-wide depletion. A Magnesium RBC (red blood cell) test can give you better results. If you continue to be stressed out the stress hormones begin to mobilize magnesium from vital tissues such as the heart putting the body in jeopardy. It is a cofactor for potassium and calcium channels so they should be taken in combination to keep a proper balance of these minerals.

PS. Don’t forget to get a FREE e-copy of my new book “Think and Feel Younger” Click Here

Why do adaptogenic herbs adjust to the person?

rhodiolaplant

 

 

Rhodiola Rosea plant

Adaptogenic herbs are “medicines” that move the body towards health by adjusting to the specific needs of each person. Ashwagandha helps to strengthen the adrenals, which helps hormones affect energy and mood. As an adaptogen, the herb used by a person with low adrenals will see improved energy and stamina, but a person under stress may see a lowering of their cortisol levels and a calming effect. Pub Med lists 688 studies on Ashwagands for a wide variety of illnesses such as cancer, kidney damage from diabetes, pain, gout, anxiety, depression and neurodegenerative disease. In specific cases it can make the person more resistant to physical and psychological stressors and improve energy and endurance. Ashwagandha is probably safe for short-term use. In large doses Ashwagandha may cause stomach upset, diarrhea and vomiting; side effects of long-term use are unknown. People with thyroid, auto-immune or liver issues should not use this herb.

 

Boswelia, also called frankincense, has 346 studies in the NIH database. It is made from gum resin from the Boswellia serrata tree. It is extremely effective to modulate inflammation in places that no drug except steroids can touch.  But if no purified to remove beta boswellic acid to less than 5%, it can actually cause inflammation so you must be careful when you buy it.

 

Our favorite adaptogenic herb is Rhodiola Rosea. This has been used to lower the cortisol production, thereby rebalancing the cortisol and lowering the stress response. Evidence suggests that Rhodiola rosea may help those suffering from depression, to climb out of their psychological hole. Clinical studies on Rhodiola rosea have been performed at leading Soviet universities and medical academies. Rhodiola activates the enzyme lipase which is key to getting energy (ATP) released by cells which benefits athletes. In studying 112 athletes, researchers discovered that 89% of those supplementing with Rhodiola rosea showed a more rapid improvement in performance in sports such as track and field, swimming, speed skating and ski racing. Rhodiola rosea’s normalizing effect on the adrenal glands may also have the same effect on cholesterol, blood sugar, potassium levels and blood pressure thereby decreasing many risk factors for heart disease. It has many other benefits including improving memory and hearing, helping with Parkinson’s, weight management and immune support.

 

Be careful when you buy it. According to researchers, true Rhodiola rosea contains rosavin, rosin, rosarin and salidroside, while its adulterant contains only salidroside. The true Rhodiola rosea is the most biologically active, Unfortunately, often so-called Rhodiola rosea herbal formulas sold in the United States contain no rosavin. They are standardized using only common salidroside. For true Rhodiola rosea check out this product:  Click Here  Email the publisher for a free ebook which will be out Spring 2015: safe@bcn.net

What’s clinically behind your stress?

Recent surveys have found that the majority of Americans are living with either high or moderate levels of stress on a daily basis. What triggers the body’s response to stress? Cortisol, secreted by the adrenals, peaks and falls with emotional response. In addition there is a daily cyclical rise and fall of cortisol levels that govern the level of wakefullness during the day, spiking just after we wake up in the morning (like your body’s natural cup of coffee). The trouble arises when stress levels are maintained throughout the day. Your cortisol is working overtime and can stay at a high level putting you at risk for heart disease, sleep problems, digestive problems, depression, obesity, memory impairment and skin eruptions.

So what can you do to help yourself besides try to reduce the stress in your life? A supplement, PS (phosphatidylserine)  helps by decreasing cortisol levels and distress. In addition anxiety can rear its nervous head during high cortisol secretions. Neurotransmitter imbalance (GABA, serotonin, dopamine) can trigger anxiety responses along with the adrenals releasing high levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline which can cause increased heart rate and breathing. Rather than just popping supplements to try to get these secretions under control, we advise getting a proper neurotransmitter test (the one we took was a saliva, urine test given to us by Certified Nutritionist Kristine Bahr www.kbahr.co ). Once you know what is being over or under excited, she can then advise you on what supplements to take to temper your response. I did this and it “cured” my anxiety attacks.

Too many companies will try to sell you on their pills to fix your problem. If you don’t know what the problem is exactly, how do you know you are not making it worse by following their protocol? You may be causing your stress through your thought processes and emotions, but there also could be a clinical explanation. Better to get to the root of the problem before your try to self-diagnose and self-treat.

-Nina Anderson, Specialist in Performance Nutrition