WYSIWYG and Your Health

In terms of health, your beauty is actually way deeper than just your skin. What you see is a good representation of what you get in relation to your nutrition, stress management, activity levels and your lifestyle.

Did you know, when your dentist reports to you that your gums show inflammation, it is a reliable sign indicating inflammation exists throughout the body and that not only do your teeth and gums need attention, but your whole body does?

Inflammation is becoming a health related buzz word these days and you will probably be reading and hearing more about it. When the body is burdened by toxins, chronic stress, poor nutrition, excessive medications and overwork, it becomes inflamed. Most discussions about your immune system describe it as “suppressed.” In actuality, it’s overworked and dysfunctional. But this can be corrected.

Constant low-grade inflammation has been directly linked to heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases. It is also suggested that inflammation is linked to premature aging and outward signs of aging, such as wrinkled skin. It is linked to arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, acid reflux and irritable bowel disease, and much more.

So just why does inflammation in the body occur? Well, what occurs in the gut is a good example to follow inflammation in the body. The majority of us eat too much of the wrong foods. Simple sugars, high fats, produce laced with insecticides and pesticides, proteins containing growth hormones and antibiotics and foods that cause an allergic response in the body all contribute to an unhealthy gut. Remember, whatever your food eats – so do you!

Combine poor nutrition with inactivity and chronic stress and we create an environment in the body that begins to turn on itself. As toxins and unhealthy bacteria build up over time, small perforations occur in the lining of the intestinal walls, spilling toxins into the rest of the body. Other systems, like the liver, are overburdened trying to cope with these toxins. It helps to remember, about 25% of disease develops because of genetics, the other 75% develops through poor lifestyle choices.

Difficulties in elimination, diarrhea and constipation, acid reflux, heartburn and sleep disturbances are signs which usually go ignored or accepted as normal. As the burden on the body increases, signs such as damaged hair, dry flaky skin, psoriasis and acne, discolored, deformed or brittle nails begin to show. Short term memory, concentration and comprehension skills become difficult. Weight loss becomes labored and more difficult. Menstrual cycles may be more difficult. Some may experience frequent headaches, allergies, mood swings, anxiety or irritation, food cravings or compulsive eating, joint or muscle aches and more as conditions worsen.

The delicate balance of the body is disrupted by having to constantly overcome the burden being placed on it by our lifestyles and choices. Hormones which fight inflammation call the white blood cells into action matched by other compounds in the body’s immune system maintenance. Now, however, the switch is stuck “on” and the immune system is overworked. If left unchanged, a chronic condition will most likely develop into a life threatening one. If obesity is also thrown into the formula, the hormones released as a result of the fat cells will contribute to the development of disease such as cancer. More and more research is showing that fat cells are more than just extra weight. They actually act as an independent type of endocrine system. In a few short years obesity will define the number one cause of cancer in the U.S.

If you’re frightened by this, I hope you would make some decisions to change your health now. What can you do to reduce inflammation in your body and build better groundwork for health and wellness? Each individual is different, but some basic guidelines do apply to all of us:

  1. Eliminate or reduce as much as possible foods (such as dairy, beef and poultry) exposed to pesticides and insecticides, unsanitary conditions, administered growth hormones or antibiotics and choose instead free range and toxic-free, local sources.
  2. Eliminate or eat sparingly, processed or packaged foods containing additives, food colorings, and chemical preservatives. This includes all fast foods. Eat fresh.
  3. Buy produce locally from farmers using no pesticide or insecticides when possible and wash fruits and vegetables before eating. If at all possible, start your own garden.
  4. Reduce or eliminate gluten from your diet. In many, this causes inflammation from allergic responses to gluten. Try rice flour, gluten-free or quinoa based products instead.
  5. Use caffeinated products sparingly. If you are a coffee drinker, try tea or an organic coffee instead. Eliminate all sports and energy drinks bought at the grocer. If you need an energy drink or a pickup in the afternoon, consider Nutritional Frontiers Pro Oranges and Power Fuel instead.
  6. Eliminate as much sugar from the diet as possible. This includes soft drinks, energy and re-hydration “sports” drinks.
  7. Drink filtered water only. Eight 8 ounce glasses throughout your day is a good rule.
  8. Get at least 30 minutes of activity 4 to 5 days per week. Break your activity into 3 ten minute segments if necessary. Also, include some type of resistance training at least 3 days per week.
  9. Take time out to reduce stress, either through light activity, yoga or Tai Chi, or meditation or prayer.
  10. You must use quality nutritional supplements and medical foods. Not all supplements are good and some may even do harm to your health. Invest in a quality product. Cheap price in all the cases I have seen = cheap product. And, I encourage everyone to detox at least twice per year. Using a quality medical foods and nutraceuticals program are the keys to a successful cleanse.

These are 10 simple and general rules. To begin building a foundation of health, reverse the aging process and to improve the appearance of skin, hair and nails, consider working with a qualified health and wellness coach. We will work with you to identify your most pressing goals, help establish a healthy lifestyle and guide you safely in becoming more active. Call Coach Fred at 724.713.1581 to begin making a transition towards health and feeling good again!

Change is inevitable. Take charge of yours today.

For those who feel they have health challenges but wish to treat them naturally, consider visiting with my close friend Dr. William Howrilla or Dr. Bill as he is known. Dr. Bill is Your Health Investigator and a practitioner of Functional Medicine. Currently, he is offering a Complimentary Exploratory Consultation. Call him today at 412.445.3168.

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