Posts Categorized under: Wellness
Magnesium- A Miracle Mineral: Are you Deficient?
Magnesium—a mighty little mineral that is one of my personal favorites. Sadly, 80% of Americans are thought to be deficient in this amazing mineral because our soil (and food supply) are depleted. So many common symptoms that people struggle with can be helped by regularly supplementing with this inexpensive little wonder.
It is one of my top recommendations for patients because boosting levels can address so many common complaints. However, not all magnesium supplements are equal so I’ll address which forms to buy below.
Are you deficient? Read below to see!
9 Warning Signs of Magnesium Deficiency:
1)Headaches…If you suffer from tension headaches or frequent migraines, magnesium supplementation can be highly beneficial. Magnesium helps to relax the muscles and enhances cellular function.
2)Muscle cramps… Many people have muscle cramps, especially lying in bed at night. This is a major flag that the body needs more magnesium (and potassium). Increasing potassium rich foods and boosting magnesium supplementation can help stop muscle cramps for good.
3)Osteoporosis, osteopenia, or injured easily… Magnesium is critical for building strong bones. You often hear about calcium for strong bones but magnesium is *just* as important. Without proper levels of magnesium, your body cannot build a foundation for strong bones.
4)Diabetes or imbalanced blood sugar… Magnesium is a critical mineral to improve glucose absorption into cells and balance your blood sugar levels. How do you know if your blood sugar levels are off? Some key symptoms are fatigue after meals, a 3pm afternoon energy crash that leaves you craving a pick me up, getting weak or shaky if meals are delayed, and poor sleep (to name a few).
5)High blood pressure…Magnesium is one of the best natural remedies to balance blood pressure that is on the rise.
6)Insomnia… Magnesium is so beneficial for those that have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep throughout the night, or consistently waking up too early. To help with insomnia, magnesium is best taken with dinner or an hour before bedtime.
7)Anxiety and depression…Magnesium really helps to calm the body, relax the muscles, and improves overall mood. I hear patients rave about how calm they feel after taking their magnesium, especially magnesium glycinate.
8)Muscle pain or Fibromyalgia. ..Magnesium can help to relax the muscles. I notice a big benefit from taking it when my neck and shoulders feel tight and tense.
9)Constipation and irregular bowel movements… Make magnesium citrate or glycinate your friend. Magnesium has great benefits in improving gut motility.
What Are Food Source of Magnesium:
Sadly, most of the magnesium rich foods are pretty depleted since our soils have been industrialized and depleted. But, here are some options for you:
- Fruits and vegetables—especially dark, leafy greens
- Nuts and seeds—especially pumpkin seeds.
What Types of Magnesium Supplements:
A lot of the magnesium supplements on the market are made from a form of magnesium that is really poorly absorbed (ie…a waste of your money). So, look for these forms:
- Magnesium citrate—great for laxative benefits
- Magnesium glycinate—my personal favorite. It is readily available and easily absorbed.
- Magnesium chloride or lactate— well absorbed by the body.
- Magnesium taurate—provides a calming effect on the body and mind (much like glycinate).
If you have questions about which magnesium might be right for you, feel free to email our office at firstname.lastname@example.org . We can help you and you’ll receive 20% off on our favorite brand of pharmaceutical grade products.
In good health!
Type 2 Diabetes and Insulin Resistance….. If there is one area of health care that I want to leave my stamp on, this very well might be it. Or, perhaps thyroid disease….but we’ll save that for another blog post.
As a Registered Dietitian that spent years working in a hospital, I was appalledat how newly diagnosed diabetics were handled in the hospital. They would receive this new and scary diagnosis, a slurry of doctors, nurses, social workers, discharge coordinators,etc…were coming into their room and bombarding them with information. They were handed new prescriptions, possibly taught how to prick themselves daily or inject insulin, they were given a few pieces of paper with do’s and do nots and then right before they were to walk out of the hospital, in walked the dreaded Dietitian (that would be me….I hated my job). We were often the last people called in as they were packing up their bags and gathering their belongings. We had a few pieces of paper that had antiquated information and guidelines on it and had to hurry to give them the basics and send them on their way. I was lucky to have 10 minutes with them. Most of them were so overwhelmed by everything and anxious to leave the hospital that it was a one-sided discussion. (more…)
Are you suffering from a chronic health condition or daily aches and pains? So many people suffer daily and feel like it’s just the cards they were dealt or just what happens with aging. I have news for you: a long life filled with health and vitality is our birth-right and you don’t have to live like this! There is often one common cause underlying these conditions: INFLAMMATION. Fortunately, nature has provided us with some of the best ways to reduce chronic inflammation so we can feel better and live more productive lives.
Inflammation is actually an important part of how the body fights infection and heals injury. However, if the body doesn’t know to turn this process down or off, it spirals and becomes a chronic condition—–making you feel miserable! (more…)
Detoxification programs seem to be all the rage. Everywhere you look, you’ll see advertisements for a juice cleanse, a Master Cleanse, a colon cleanse, a liver and gallbladder flush, and so forth. A few years ago I decided to tackle the Master Cleanse. I was inspired to flush out toxins by drinking the water/ lemon juice/ cayenne pepper/ maple syrup concoction. I had heard stories of people claiming renewed energy, better sleep, brighter skin, weight loss, improved digestion, and I wanted that for myself. After two miserable days, I found myself sneaking bites of Girl Scout cookies in the kitchen and dreaming about food. As my husband would say, I got an “A” for effort but a “C” for execution. I’m impressed by those people that have that willpower to subsist on spicy lemon water for days on end…….. but I’m certainly not one of them. I do much better with food-based cleanses. And, when I’m working with clients on a proper detox program, I don’t expect them to starve either. (more…)
Stress. It’s a 4 letter word (well, really 6 but you get what I’m saying). Everybody feels stress and most people recognize that it wreaks havoc on the body. According to the American Psychological Association, more than 50% of Americans report their stress levels are increasing and 83% of Americans can relate one health problem they have directly to their stress levels. When our stress levels rise, the sympathetic nervous system (the fight or flight response) is activated, a flood of stress hormones are released causing the heart rate to increase, digestion to slow down, blood pressure and inflammation to increase, increased belly fat storage, and the immune system to weaken. It basically wreaks havoc on the body and causes a number of different symptoms and health problems.
When I start to feel stressed and overwhelmed by the daily rigors of running a practice, being a mom of two small, energetic kids, and trying to be a decent wife and friend that’s somewhat pleasant to be around, here’s what I start to do to take better care of myself.
1) Acupuncture. It’s amazing for stress, and no, it doesn’t hurt. Acupuncture increases the circulation of blood and oxygenates the tissues throughout the body while regulating those pesky stress hormones. It is deeply relaxing during the treatment and afterwards, I’m much more able to cope with outside stressors. I think of it like a “reset” button for my nervous system and mind.
2) Exercise. It’s amazing what movement can do for the body. It calms the mind and energizes you.
3) Breathe. I’m not very good at meditation. I try (sometimes) but my mind wanders and I find myself thinking about what I should cook for dinner or how I should really vacuum that ball of dust off of floor afterwards. What has really helped me though is breathing. It’s an active meditation, of sorts. Take a deep inhale until you can’t inhale another sip of air, hold it for 5 seconds and then exhale completely and hold it at the bottom for 5 seconds. Repeat this 10 times and feel how different you feel afterwards.
4) Bathe. A warm bath with 2 cups Epsom salts (these are magnesium rich, a mineral known for relaxation), lavender oil drops (it smells good and regulates the stress hormone, cortisol), and one tired, stressed girl.
5) Sleep. I love sleep and your body loves sleep. Prioritize it and aim for 8-9 hours per night.
6) Change my thinking. Have you noticed that when you’re stressed, you can quickly spiral into negative thinking? I certainly do. I try to catch myself thinking negatively and redirect myself. Sometimes this is a subtle shift in my head and sometimes, when I’m really stressed, I jot down things that I’m grateful for. It helps put things in perspective, try it.
What do you do when you’re feeling stressed? I’d love to know!
It’s that time of year again….cedar fever. A few years ago, I would daydream about burning all of the cedar trees across Texas as I sniffled and tried to carry on with my busy days, feeling quite miserable. Desperate for some help, despite taking Zyrtec by day and Benadryl by night, I booked my acupuncture appointments and went in weekly for symptomatic relief and with a long-term goal to overcome this miserable allergic response for good. Today, I’m sitting here allergy free (I do have occasional sniffles when the pollen counts are very high but it is so mild compared to years back). The solution you ask? Acupuncture!!
Acupuncture is a great way to treat seasonal allergies, and to bring the body into balance. Acupuncture helps in two main ways:
1) Alleviates symptoms like itchy eyes, stuffiness, nasal congestion, headaches, fatigue
2) Brings the body back into balance so you’re less likely to react to common triggers.
Acupuncture helps balance the body; this is done by taking a complete intake and doing a complete assessment of every client who comes for treatment. Acupuncture treatments are custom tailored, making sure the underlying cause of allergies (and any other symptoms) are cleared. When the body is in balance, symptoms disappear and health is restored. The great news is that allergy relief need not be temporary; the results will last.
If you’re suffering from seasonal allergies, I urge you to give pain-free acupuncture a try.