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The Best Natural Remedies for Bad Breath

Having bad breath can be extremely embarrassing, mostly because you often don’t know about it until someone else tells you. Though you probably won’t appreciate being told that you have this problem, it’s better to know because then you can do something about it. There are a number of things you can try that can help with bad breath, and not all of them include harsh chemicals or a trip to the dentist.

Why Natural Remedies?

You can buy remedies for bad breath but these aren’t usually as effective as natural remedies. Mouthwashes are usually full of chemicals that are bad for your mouth and teeth. Also, because your mouth is really porous, those chemicals are absorbed into your bloodstream even if you don’t swallow them. These chemicals do kill the bad bacteria that cause odor, but they also kill the good bacteria, which can cause more problems in the long run.

Even if mouthwashes solve the odor problem in the short term, they usually don’t last as long as some of the more natural options. Natural remedies are safer, taste better, and are easier to find and carry around with you so you can use them wherever and whenever you need them.

Causes of Bad Breath

If you discover that you have bad breath, there are a number of remedies that you can try that might help. Bad breath can be caused by a variety of factors, and discovering the cause can help you find a remedy that works for your specific condition. Some of the most common causes of bad breath are as follows:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Poor diet
  • Dehydration
  • Certain medications
  • Oral infections
  • Smoking or Alcohol use

If you try natural remedies and nothing helps, you need to enlist your doctor’s assistance. Bad breath can be a sign of a number of diseases that won’t go away on their own without medical intervention. And if you do discover an underlying illness, seeking treatment will probably clear up your bad breath at the same time. The following illnesses and diseases can cause bad breath:

  • Infections of the mouth, gums or throat
  • Sinus infections
  • Kidney disease
  • Reflux
  • Lung infections
  • Liver Disease
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome

The Importance of Your Dental Health

Bad breath is most often caused by poor dental health which may lead to infections or diseases of the gums or mouth. Dental infections can spread to other parts of the body, causing secondary infections, or depress your immune system so you can’t fight off bacteria or viruses very well. And even when they don’t cause obvious illnesses or diseases, dental infections increase stress the body is already under and diminish your overall sense of health and wellbeing.

Poor dental health has been linked to heart disease, inflammation, and cancer, as well as to Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS). So if you’re suffering from AFS, you can lessen the stress on your body and improve your overall wellbeing by improving your oral health and eliminating this cause of bad breath.

What is Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome?

AFS is a stress-related illness that seems to be becoming more common in the modern world. It occurs after a period of prolonged stress when the adrenal glands have been overused and become fatigued. Your adrenal glands are part of your neuroendometabolic (NEM) stress response, which means that they act to make changes in your body to help you handle stress. When they become fatigued, your body can’t handle stress as well and starts exhibiting a range of symptoms from general tiredness to anxiety, weight gain and an increased susceptibility to infections.

The Link between Your Dental Health and AFS

Dental infections create more stress for your adrenal glands. The increase of bacteria in the mouth causes more inflammation and immune response in the body. In addition, the body’s toxic load can overwhelm the adrenals and create mental and physical exacerbation of AFS. Removing the stress that poor oral health puts on your body is fairly simple, and it’s an easy way to reduce the load on your adrenal glands while addressing your bad breath at the same time.

Keep your Mouth Clean

The first thing you should do if you have bad breath is to make sure you keep your mouth as clean as possible. Bad breath is often caused by pieces of food and bacteria built on and around your teeth and gums. This is an easy fix. You need to make sure you brush your teeth thoroughly at least twice a day, including your tongue and your gums as well. You can also use a toothpaste that contains tea tree oil, which is a safe and natural disinfectant. Make sure you floss after brushing to remove food particles from between your teeth. Doing this removes the source of the problem, rather than attempting to cover up the bad smell with other smells, which is far more effective and may actually remove the problem altogether.

You should also use a tongue scraper when you brush your teeth. Your tongue is extremely porous and tiny food particles can easily become lodged in the pores. These particles can grow bacteria, which causes infection and bad breath. If you’ve ever woken up in the morning and looked in the mirror to see that your tongue is covered with a white film, then you probably aren’t cleaning your tongue properly. Use a tongue scraper to remove any debris or food particles from the surface of your tongue and make sure you spit out the results.

Change Your Diet

A bad diet is one of the primary causes of bad breath. There are a number of foods that can cause this problem including the obvious ones, such as garlic and onions, as well as less obvious causes such as coffee or alcohol. Refined sugars, such as those in cakes and desserts, can also feed the bacteria in your mouth, so it should also be avoided as much as possible if you have bad breath. There is also anecdotal evidence that dairy products or a diet that’s rich in meat products may cause bad breath, though there is little sound scientific evidence to support this.

A diet that’s rich in raw, natural foods can help to remove food particles from your mouth and also improve your overall health, which will naturally improve your health and any symptoms of AFS. Raw fruits and vegetables that are particularly good for improving your breath are:

A woman eating celery to help with bad breath

  • Celery
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Broccoli

Probiotics

If you have bad breath, it might be because of a bacterial imbalance in your mouth. Bacteria is an essential part of the human body and without it, you wouldn’t live very long. It only causes problems when one type of bacteria starts to grow out of control and causes infection and disease. There are a number of causes of bacterial imbalance such as illness, injury, antibiotics and other medications.

Probiotics can be found in a number of foods such as yogurt, miso, and sauerkraut. They’re full of healthy bacteria and can help to balance your system and promote good digestive health. Probiotics can help you address your bad breath while also assisting with the digestive distress that often comes along with AFS.

Avoid Dry Mouth

If your mouth is dry for a prolonged period it can cause bad breath. Dry mouth can be the result of dehydration, smoking, certain medications, too much alcohol, sleeping with your mouth open and allergies. Try the following ideas if you think the dry mouth is causing your bad breath problem:

  • Increase your water intake.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking.
  • Chew sugar-free gum to stimulate your saliva
  • Talk to your doctor about any medications you’re taking.
  • Don’t skip meals, as this can also make your mouth dry.

Quick Fixes for Bad Breath

If you’re going about your daily routine and realize that you have bad breath there are a number of remedies that you can try including the following:

A woman eating orange to remedy bad breath

  • Eat an orange, the citrus stimulates saliva and gives your breath a fresh blast.
  • Try eating some parsley, which has germ fighting properties.
  • Drink some water, swish it around your mouth and spit it out again.
  • Scrape your tongue with a metal spoon and spit out the residue.
  • Chew a clove or cinnamon stick, they both have antibacterial properties.

Final Thoughts

Bad breath can be a stubborn and embarrassing condition to have. It can make you feel self-conscious, and because you don’t usually know when you have it, it can be difficult to manage. Bad breath can also be a symptom of deeper problems, such as AFS or inflammation, so you need to make sure you address both the problem and the possible causes before they do long-term harm. Using natural remedies to deal with the condition are more effective as they usually last longer and are free from chemicals and preservatives that could damage your health.

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EMF Radiation and Health: An Emerging Danger – Part 2

What Causes EMF Sensitivity?

Many different terms have been coined for this condition, including electromagnetic sensitivity, electro-sensitivity, electromagnetic hypersensitivity, EMF intolerance, and microwave sickness. The increasing use of cell phones, computers, laptops, ebook readers, smart meters, WiFi, Bluetooth, cordless phones, cell towers, and a myriad of other electrical devices are increasing our exposure to electromagnetic fields. This area is so rapidly advancing that scientific research has not been able to keep up in terms of EMF radiation and health damage to cells and bodies in the long-term.

To comprehend why our bodies react to EMF, it is necessary first to understand that the body is made up of 70 trillion cells interacting. In order for the cells to optimize health, they need the necessary building blocks of nutrition to provide fuel, detoxification to eliminate waste, and oxygen for the cells to convert into ATP (a source of energy).

EMF sensitivity tends to occur when cell membranes are damaged. Weak cell walls allow nutrients to leak out, but toxins remain. Damaged cell membranes can lead to many biological problems, including Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS). Cells communicate with each other via electricity located within the cells. These signals, however, are perturbed when external EMF interferes with the communication.

Common symptoms of EMF sensitivity include headaches, constant and long-term fatigue, digestive disorders, sleep disturbance, muscle tightness, memory disorders, metallic taste in the mouth, anxiety, heart palpitations, muscle twitches, and others. Many of these symptoms are also typical for those with AFS.

Adrenal Fatigue, EMF radiation, and Health

Adrenal fatigue is a condition where the body becomes weak under stress. Stress comes in many forms: emotional (anger, anxiety, finances, relationships), physical (pain, exertion, excessive exercise), inherited (genetic, prenatal) and environmental (electromagnetic fields, toxins, weather, allergens). Environmental stress caused by electromagnetic fields can have an impact on AFS.

Not all AFS sufferers who are exposed to EMF react to it negatively. One possible reason for this is that EMF exposure is only one of the many toxic burdens that the body carries. Therefore, individual reactions vary with EMF exposure depending on the individual person’s toxic load. Those with AFS already have a weakened constitution, and further stress on the body, like daily EMF exposure, can make the symptoms worse.

In light of this, EMF sensitivity can also be a sign that your body is under a heavy toxic load. It could be a state known as reactive metabolite overload. Reactive metabolites are compounds that are not particularly toxic, but in high enough doses, they can overwhelm your body and cause congestion. These metabolites can come from many varying sources, including supplements. The stimulation of EMF radiation and health effects produce more metabolites.

In advanced cases of AFS, the probability of concurrent sensitivity to electromagnetic fields and severe weakness is higher. Some sufferers, as a result, cannot physically function normally when near a cell phone, electrical equipment, or household appliances. In extreme cases, one has to live far away from modern civilization, such as in a remote forest environment to avoid EMF exposure in order for symptoms like heart palpitations and anxiety to subside.

Decreasing EMF Exposure Promotes Healing

Reducing EMF radiation and health problemsA great start to healing your body is to reduce your exposure to electromagnetic fields. However, it is equally important to understand and address the toxins your body has accumulated and to consider the stress triggers that have led to the downward spiral of AFS. For efficient adrenal fatigue recovery, you need to consider all sources of stress to the body, while simultaneously minimizing EMF exposure, even if you do not initially feel EMF radiation and health effects.

How to Decrease EMF Exposure

Many things can be done to reduce EMF exposure, ranging from simple to more complicated measures. The following offers a variety of measures that can be taken to guard yourself against unnecessarily exposing your body to harmful EMFs.

1. Unplugging the Bedroom

The bedroom is one of the most important spaces to reduce EMF exposure. The body is repairing its cells when you sleep, and the bedroom is where you typically spend a large part of the day. Many adrenal fatigue sufferers have difficulty falling asleep and remaining asleep; it could be that their bedroom environment is not conducive to sleep. Where practical and possible, it is best to remove all electrical equipment from the bedroom, including cell phones, lamps, and alarm clocks. Even when the lamps and cell phones are switched off, they are still radiating EMF, and therefore, the body is susceptible to it while sleeping.

Most housing in the United States will have bare wires running through the walls, so the simplest remedy for this is to sleep with your head as far away from the wall as possible, facing the center of the room. Also, make sure everything around the bed is battery operated, including alarm clocks, humidifiers, and air filters. Turning off the lights does not stop the electric fields, as the electrical outlets are still carrying voltage, regardless of whether the light is switched on or off.

If your appliances are not battery operated, distance yourself from them by at least three to five feet, making their fields ineffective on your body.

2. Grounding Sheets/Earthing Sheets

Computers or laptops that have a three pin plug are already grounded. For those that have a two pin plug, grounding is easily achieved with the use of an alligator clip on a wire, which is then grounded by plugging into an electric socket. This grounds the computer through the wire instead of through the body. Other options involve grounding yourself via the use of a grounding mat, but this method requires more caution, and measurements need to be taken prior to using the mat in an area with other electrical equipment in use.

Precautions in Using Grounding Sheets

There are many grounding pads and sheets that are available on the market currently, but many people are unaware of the dangers of using these devices. Depending on the location of the field source relative to the grounding sheet, the field strength may go down or up. The only way to know for certain what the levels are is to measure with an EMF meter.

Grounding sheets cannot be used on a whim, as they have the potential to be more harmful than helpful. For areas such as the office, it is better to earth the equipment rather than yourself via an earthing mat. In an environment with potentially high EMF, you may be exposing yourself to much higher levels of electric fields when using a grounding mat.

Natural Earthing Method: Barefoot Walking

Using grounding techniques to reduce EMF radiation and health conditionsThere is a tradition in some European countries of walking barefoot in the early morning when the ground is still wet with dew or along the sandy shores of a beach. The scientific understanding behind this tradition is based upon the knowledge that our bodies are made up of cells that communicate with one another via electrical signals. Furthermore, the body (which is largely made up of water in the form of blood and body fluids) is also relatively conductive.

When the body makes contact with the earth (which is a natural source of electrons) there is a transfer of electrons into our body, thereby charging it with the same negatively charged electrical potential as the earth, essentially grounding oneself to reduce EMF radiation and health effects. Barefoot walking is made even more effective with the presence of water in the form of the early morning dew, or wet sand from the beach.

Getting negatively charged can help stop the free radical damage. A free radical is a molecule that has lost its electron due to another free radical attacking it, thereby creating a chain reaction. Many have avoided free-radical damage by eating foods or vitamins rich in antioxidants. Walking barefoot on the earth is another method for the transfer of those electrons, as the earth is naturally negatively charged largely due to the activity of lightning.

Ideally, grounding is best on the beach or on a grassy field. However, even walking barefoot on concrete (better if it is wet) will help you get grounded. Anything insulated will not help though.

Earthing or grounding has also been supported by emerging scientific research. It appears the earth’s electrons are capable of inducing physiological changes such as reducing pain, improving sleep, and shifting the body from using the sympathetic to the parasympathetic nervous system.

Another positive side effect of barefoot walking is the spiritual connection with nature. How often does a day at the beach or a hike in the woods leave you feeling refreshed, connected, and revived? Leaving behind the claustrophobic environment of our modern houses and offices even for a few hours can do wonders for the body.

However, for those with advanced AFS, it is important to be careful of spending too much time in the sun or at the beach. It is advisable to start in small increments of time if it is an activity that is not currently in your routine because too much of a good thing can be too much for the body to handle at this point. Starting out with five minutes of grounding and working your way up to a couple of hours on a daily basis, if possible, is ideal. You can clear your mind and engage in breathing exercises or meditation as you walk. This will greatly reduce the effects of EMF radiation and health exposure.

3. Functional Silver to Decrease EMF Exposure

Silver is a metal with good deflective tool against EMF radiation and health exposure. Functional wear incorporating strands of silver fibers can be worn to reduce EMF exposure. The more commonly worn garments include hoodies, sweatshirts, neck wraps, headgear, and socks. Those who are extremely sensitive may need to sleep under a bed canopy with silver fiber incorporated into it.

These garments can be particularly useful when worn during work in front of computers and laptops, or in an office building full of wireless devices.

4. Charcoal to Reduce Toxicity

EMF radiation and health improvements using charcoalThe use of charcoal as a detoxifying agent dates back centuries as a tool to help the body reduce its toxic load. This enables the body to better handle EMF. The use of functional garments incorporating charcoal fiber can be very helpful. This kind of fiber is currently available on the market. The most commonly used are headgear, scarves, socks, and braces. Charcoal patches, when applied directly over the liver and kidneys, can also help improve the body’s detoxification process.

5. Increase Your Nutritional Reserve

Increasing the overall nutritional reserve in the body will provide a better functioning and allow the body to handle EMF better. This is especially critical for those who have advanced AFS because their nutritional reserve is already compromised.

The nutritional reserve is a complicated, built-up process that serves as a foundational building block, which the body draws from in times of stress. Because EMF is a stress inducer, having an increased reserve will allow stress to dissipate without affecting the other organ systems.

Unfortunately, building up the nutritional reserve for AFS sufferers is easier said than done. This is particularly difficult in the advanced stages of AFS due to existing weaknesses. Therefore, simply loading up on nutritional supplements may cause more harm. Getting a professional nutritional assessment, a comprehensive plan of nutritional reserve building and nutritional coaching is a good idea in this case. This usually takes about 3 – 6 months and is a critical part of an EMF exposure protection plan for those with AFS.

EMF Exposure and the NEM Stress Response Model

If you believe you have been exposed to significant EMF radiation, the best way to remediate the damage that may have been done to your body is through the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response model. This viewpoint regarding health and illness conditions is significantly different from traditional medical viewpoints.

Essentially, the NEM model looks at organ systems and their interrelationship in responding to stress on the body, like EMF radiation. This stress leads to any number of physical conditions that may manifest themselves in one or more organ systems, but other organ systems will also be affected. This is because they are interrelated. What affects one affects others as well.

When EMF radiation causes cell damage and increased toxins in cells, the metabolic system will be affected because of the need for increased deactivation of toxins. This may lead to an effect on the inflammatory system because of the increased inflammation due to these toxins. The hormonal organ system will also be affected because of the stress caused by EMF radiation and health effects. This is one example of the NEM response model at work. Understanding how the NEM works can help unravel your symptoms.

Conclusion on EMF Radiation and Health Exposure

EMF radiation and health improvements using proper nutrientsLiving in the modern world carries a significant risk of EMF exposure. It is all around us. It is virtually almost impossible to mitigate. We must learn to live with both its advantages and disadvantages. Hopefully, by understanding the sources, the effects, and how we can shield and protect our bodies from it, we can lessen the detrimental effects.

Those in advanced stages of AFS are particularly vulnerable to this external insult to the body as their bodies are already under a heavy toxic load. Excessive EMF radiation and health exposure, while inconsequential to most people, can worsen AFS and ultimately trigger an adrenal crash.

Fortunately, the proper use of basic earthing techniques, such as barefoot walking and the use of functional fabrics incorporating silver and charcoal fiber can be very helpful. Furthermore, there are simple steps you can take, such as keeping your bedroom free of electrical appliances and using laptops carefully, which can also drastically reduce your EMF radiation and health exposure.

Read Part 1

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How Medium Chain Triglycerides Can Help Adrenal Fatigue

A great many people today suffer from adrenal fatigue to some degree or another. Often, they have no idea that there is a name for the symptoms they’ve been experiencing. High levels of chronic stress over a long enough time lead to problems in various systems in the body until things begin to get worse, especially thyroid and gut function, which can cause problems for other parts of the body. However, diet and supplement are an excellent way to begin healing this condition, and medium chain triglycerides can play an important role in this process.

Because this condition can develop gradually and begin causing problems well before it qualifies for an official medical evaluation of an ailment recognized by conventional medicine, it frequently goes unrecognized. Even if people go see a doctor about their complaints and get tested, the tests come back as “normal.” Things have to get extremely bad before adrenal fatigue is recognized by the typical medical doctor.

Unlike in traditional Eastern medicine and in natural medicine, Western medicine fails to recognize that poor health ramps up gradually. Thus, something is going wrong well before it fits the criteria for any recognized Western medical conditions. It happens often that someone is miserable all the time, but medical doctors tell them, “There’s nothing wrong. All tests are within the normal range.” This is a failing of Western medicine.

There is no reason that real problems cannot be recognized and addressed sooner. It is a failing of mental models. There are tests available that can identify subtler problems, and there is adequate information available. Yet, adrenal fatigue simply fails to make the radar for most medical professionals.

Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal fatigue is caused by chronic stress. For far too many people, modern life involves a combination of living hard, being exposed to highly toxic substances, not eating right, and not getting enough rest. This inevitably wears on the body and gradually causes harm. Over time, the body’s natural stress response gets overused, and the body stops being able to rise to the occasion.

Part of the reason the body’s natural stress response fails is that we live in a toxic world. The human body did not evolve in such an environment. It is ill-equipped to cope.

There are a great many synthetic chemicals invented in the last 100 years or so that simply did not exist before. The wonders of modern science and industry have come at a cost to human health.

Often, we simply do not know exactly what these medium chain triglycerides do to people. There may not be enough of a track record to fully understand them. In other cases, we know they harm human health, and even know some of the specific ways in which they cause harm, but the very real harm they do is downplayed or not taken seriously enough.

These synthetic chemicals are frequently very hard on the liver. While laboratory tests may continue to be normal, liver function deteriorates slowly over time. As the liver deteriorates, everything else also deteriorates, including the adrenals. It becomes a bottleneck in the system. If it cannot be cleared, it starts a downward spiral that nothing seems able to stop.

Medium chain triglycerides can be effected by stress

Another reason that our stress response system becomes overwhelmed by modern life is that, in nature, our stress response is primarily intended for dealing with short-term, acute stress, but our modern lifestyles expose us to mostly chronic, recurrent sources of stress. Thus, many people stay on edge all the time. They never catch a break or get to really relax and recover. It takes its toll and people slowly deteriorate.

As adrenal fatigue worsens, it begins negatively impacting other systems. When the adrenals run on high constantly, this eventually stresses other hormone-producing organs, including the thyroid.

When the hormonal systems are not functioning properly, it takes its toll on the body generally. As the body generally deteriorates, the gut becomes increasingly compromised as well. No organ system of the body is spared over time. The only question is the degree of impairment that may arise either subclinically or clinically.

The Adrenals and the Gut

The gut constitutes about 70 percent of the human immune system. Thus, once the gut is involved, a person is basically chronically ill, often with no apparent reason distinguishable by conventional medicine.

The adrenals and gut are part of the body’s defense system. They help the body protect itself from what life throws at it. As these two critical systems become dysfunctional, the entire body begins to not function. Sleep becomes elusive. Blood sugar levels become unstable. Nutrient assimilation slows. Bloating, anxiety, fatigue, and brain fog become common. The person is simply exhausted all the time and no amount of rest seems to be enough.

One function of the gut is to eliminate toxic wastes. It works with the kidneys and liver to perform this vital task. As it slowly fails, toxic metabolites begin to back up.

Think of how unhealthy your house would be if you started taking out only half of the trash. If you did that, the mound of garbage would slowly grow. It would get more and more backed up and germs would grow in the mound of garbage.

This is what happens in the human body when the gut begins to fail. The body cannot remove the wastes from the system. Once that process starts, it is a vicious downward cycle. The growing backlog of toxic metabolites makes it harder still to handle the daily burden. Things grow ever more toxic until, over time, the liver and other vital systems are completely overwhelmed.

When adrenal fatigue and general deterioration are in their early stages, it is not uncommon for people to consume caffeine and other stimulants in an effort to pump up the body and help it cope. This is a short-term strategy with long-term costs. Underlying root causes are masked as a result. It takes its toll on the body and worsens the situation.

Your body and medium chain triglyceridesThis turns into a situation like being on a hamster wheel. People run faster to try to keep up but never get anywhere. They start becoming depressed after all their medical workups are normal. They may be dealing with feeling cold all the time as thyroid function slows. They may have an irritable bowel and frequently have diarrhea or constipation as the GI tract becomes sensitive. They often crave salt and may find themselves eating salty snacks that are not all that healthy. This can contribute to the tendency to gain weight and be unable to get it off or keep it off that is so common with adrenal fatigue.

Some people think they are merely getting old. In truth, they are experiencing the gradual onset of adrenal fatigue. However, things can be done so that vitality and energy improve. It is not an inevitable downhill slide.

One of the first things that to do is to address dietary insufficiencies, either through a change in diet, a supplement regimen, or both. Ingesting the right kinds of healthy fats plays an important role in this part of the recovery process.

Medium Chain Triglycerides

This is the chemical term for a class of fatty acids. It is often shortened to MCT oil. The individual members of this class of fatty acids were named for the length of their carbon chain. They have between six and twelve carbons. Fatty acids with more than twelve carbons are classified as long-chain triglycerides (LCT). Fatty acids with fewer than six carbons are called short-chain triglycerides (SCT).

Both coconut oil and palm oil naturally contain a high percentage of medium chain triglycerides. Good quality butter is another decent source, though it is not “high” in such fats. Sometimes people are confused and think that coconut oil is the exact same thing as MCT oil, but this is not the case.

No food is naturally made 100 percent of MCT oils. Some fats or oils naturally contain a high percentage of MCT oils, but refinement is required to create pure MCT oil that contains nothing but medium chain triglycerides, with no long-chain triglycerides or short chain triglycerides. The resulting oil is sometimes used as a supplement.

Unlike LCT oils, MCT oils are readily absorbed by the body without the need for digestion. For this reason, they are easier on the gut and have long been recommended as beneficial for people with serious gut problems of any sort, including very serious health problems like cystic fibrosis or stomach cancer.

In fact, because MCT oils can be absorbed without the body going through the process of digesting them, they can be applied topically and absorbed through the skin. For someone whose gut is very compromised and is having trouble eating at all, this detail can make MCT oil a very valuable and convenient part of the recovery process.

MCT Oils and Adrenal Fatigue

What oils are high in medium chain triglyceridesAs noted above, adrenal fatigue results in both added stress to the thyroid and a deterioration of gut function. Whether taken as a supplement or added to the diet via oils and fats naturally high in medium chain triglycerides, MCT oils can help with both thyroid and gut function, provided that the body is strong enough to take it. They are known to provide thyroid support, and they can help heal the gut and foster a healthy gut microbiome by promoting a diversity of gut flora.

Additionally, medium chain triglycerides oils can help the body properly absorb sea salt. Sea salt is critical to the process of healing the adrenals. This is why people with adrenal fatigue crave salt. However, when it is seriously compromised, the body may not tolerate salt well. Taking MCT oil around the same time as sea salt can help the body absorb it properly and tolerate it better, speeding the improvement process.

However, medium chain triglycerides oils and sea salt can both promote diarrhea. When taken together, they can promote severe diarrhea. This is really just the body finally getting rid of a backlog of accumulated wastes. Nonetheless, it is best to move slowly and only takes a little at a time. Thus, if either sea salt or medium chain triglycerides oils are part of a diet or supplement regimen already, and the other is added, it may be necessary to at least temporarily reduce the amount consumed to account for the increased absorption. Otherwise, it may cause significant discomfort and inconvenience.

As the gut and adrenals gradually improve, there will be less intestinal drama generally. Both constipation and diarrhea will become less frequent.

Healing the gut can also help lose weight. When the gut is compromised, malabsorption occurs. In other words, the body is not getting the full value of the nutrients available in the foods it consumes. This can promote constant snacking. It also means that no matter what is eaten, too many calories are being taken in compared to the number of vital nutrients.

The right oils play a critical role in the health of the body. It isn’t actually good for a person to consume no fat at all. It is more important to make sure the body gets the kinds of fats it needs. For a body in crisis, fats like medium chain triglycerides that can be absorbed directly, without requiring the process of being broken down by digestive enzymes, put a great deal less stress on the system.

Logistically speaking, instead of trying to change the diet to include more MCT oils, it can be helpful to start with an MCT oil supplement or even a coconut oil supplement. Adding a supplement is a more easily controlled variable if you have a very sensitive system. It keeps things relatively simple. In contrast, if coconut oil or similar is substituted for some other source of fat in the diet, there are at least two variables there: 1) The reduction in one type of oil, and 2) the addition of another type of oil.

Medium chain triglycerides in your dietGiven that changing cooking oils can also impact how food is prepared, that is a best-case scenario. In reality, it is likely to involve a great many more confounding variables that cannot be readily isolated.

If a supplement with medium chain triglycerides is introduced while the diet remains the same, it makes it easier to determine if it is being tolerated well or if the amount being consumed needs to be adjusted. Over time, the impact on the body will be more readily recognized, and the body will also grow stronger, potentially no longer requiring such a careful approach. Thus, this level of control will not always be necessary. Still, it is prudent to begin the process this way.

Adrenal fatigue is a complex syndrome. There are many pieces to the puzzle and it takes time to resolve. It is best to consult a professional with experience who can guide you in seeking better health. There are too many variables for an untrained, inexperienced person to get right on their own, especially while also suffering significant impairment.

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The Fundamentals of Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal fatigue is a common problem in the modern world. Life today is busy, with lots of responsibilities and expectations that create stress and pressure for everyone. Unfortunately, this type of stress is highly destructive for the human body. It can cause a number of diseases such as heart attack and cancer, as well as several serious and ongoing health problems. The damaging effects of stress should not be underestimated, which is why you need to take steps to support your body’s health if you notice any troubling symptoms.

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

Your adrenal glands are absolutely vital in your all around health and in helping you cope with stress. Under normal circumstances, they excrete a number of hormones that help with everyday functioning. But even more importantly, they’re a part of your body’s neuroendometabolic (NEM) stress response. This is a system in your body that helps you to deal with stress. When you experience a stressful event, this system activates to make changes that prepare you to react. These changes include hormones that are secreted by your adrenal glands and make you more alert, preparing you to fight or flee from the cause of the stress.

Unfortunately, stress today isn’t usually a short-lived event such as an attack. The modern lifestyle is full of expectations and pressures that cause ongoing stress, and this has resulted in a number of health consequences. Your adrenal glands, in particular, can be affected by prolonged stress. When you’re under constant stress, it means that there’s a high demand for the hormones that the adrenals excrete. And when this demand is ongoing, it can cause adrenal fatigue as a well as a host of troubling symptoms that make life more difficult and can be very hard to treat.

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Common Causes of Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal fatigue is caused by stress. Because the adrenals are so fundamental to the system that helps you cope with stress, they’re one of the first organs that start to break down under pressure. Common causes of stress include the following:

  •         Relationships.
  •         Financial concerns.
  •         Work pressures.
  •         Environmental contaminants such as noise or pollution.
  •         Emotional issues such as anxiety or depression.
  •         Other illnesses
  •         Over-exercising
  •         Sleep deprivation
  •         Chronic pain

What is AFS?

When the adrenal glands become fatigued through overuse it can result in Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS). This is a troubling disorder that causes a variety of troubling and elusive symptoms such as brain fog, chronic fatigue, digestive problems, anxiety, palpitations and weight gain. AFS isn’t universally accepted in the medical world, so if you go to your doctor with these issues you may struggle to get the help you need. That’s why it’s so important that you start looking for knowledgeable help and treatment options as soon as you see any of these symptoms.

People often ignore the early signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue and AFS because they can be extremely subtle. Too often, this situation continues until the disorder is advanced and the adrenal glands have started to deteriorate. If you get to this stage, it means a long and difficult recovery, which is why you need to identify the signs of adrenal fatigue early and start making changes that will allow them to heal and return to full functioning. Four symptoms that occur early in the process and shouldn’t be ignored include the following:

  •         Fatigue that isn’t alleviated by rest periods.
  •         Mental symptoms such as anxiety, brain fog, unusual irritability or depression.
  •         Inexplicable weight gain.
  •         Low blood pressure coupled with salt cravings.

Recovery through Stress Reduction

The most important things you can do to recover from AFS is to lower your stress levels. This will decrease the demand for hormones and give your adrenal glands time to rest and recover. This isn’t as easy as it may sound. You can’t completely eliminate all the sources of stress in your life, nor should you try. Instead you should work on eliminating or reducing stressors when you can, and work on adopting practices that aid with stress reduction. Some stress-reducing practices to try include:

  •         Meditation
  •         Breathing exercises
  •         Mindfulness
  •         Yoga
  •         Tai Chi

Adrenal Fatigue Nutrition

An important component of adrenal fatigue recovery is making dietary changes that support your health and wellbeing. Adrenal fatigue nutrition is based on real, unprocessed, natural foods that give your body and your adrenal glands the necessary vitamins and minerals for optimum functioning. This type of diet will also reduce your stress levels, as it will help to correct any deficiencies. As a guideline, your new eating plan should include the following:

  •         30 – 40 percent vegetables
  •         20 – 30 percent lean proteins
  •         20  – 30 percent healthy fats
  •         The remaining should be whole grains and legumes

Another issue with AFS recovery is supplementation. Before you considering taking supplements for adrenal fatigue, make sure you consult with an expert on the topic. There are some vitamins that can be useful in your recovery, but you will need help to find the combination and the doses that suits your body and your adrenal health. If you choose adrenal fatigue vitamins without supervision, you risk overdosing or taking vitamins that hinder rather than help your recovery.

Adrenal fatigue is a troubling but unfortunately very common complaint these days. This stress-related problem can cause a variety of symptoms that can markedly lower your overall health and your quality of life. That’s why getting the right advice and looking for treatment options that suit your life and condition is so important. It will help you to avoid ongoing consequences such as AFS, as well as other diseases that can pose a threat to your life satisfaction as well as your life itself. It will also allow you to take control of your life and your health and give your adrenal glands the help and support they need to heal and return to full functioning once more.

Adrenal fatigue is a major concern today because of ongoing stressors and pressure. And the resulting problems can fundamentally lower your quality of life.

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Trees Provide Remarkable Nature Therapy

As we examine how to better take care of ourselves and health, there are numerous different options available to all of us. To pick what is the best or most effective can be a bit difficult as there are several variables involved in most health and lifestyle choices. What makes nature therapy a wonderful solution to improve stress recovery and reduce stress is that there are very limited downsides to its use.

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The whole “get outside for some fresh air” thing is not just something that people have been saying for years. There’s actual scientific evidence that shows how exposure to scenes of nature can be a great way to take care of your health.

It’s also quite interesting because you don’t have to physically be IN nature to experience the benefits OF nature. That being said, there’s no replacement for genuine nature therapy as there are other things that make being outside a great choice. The reason we’re noting that you don’t have to physically be outside is so there’s no confusion about how all-encompassing nature therapy is. Aside from an extremely minute percentage of the population, this is a technique that can work for everyone: https://www.drlam.com/articles/adrenal_fatigue.asp.

Conventional Stress and Nature Therapy

Before we dive into exactly what makes visual images of trees and nature great for your health and stress recovery or reduction, we need to look into what takes place during a normal stress response. There is a complex web through which our bodies calculate and respond to stress. This system is called the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response and it has quite the job to do while keeping us safe and all threats in check.

As humans have developed, the traditional stress model has stayed basically the same while the causes of stress have not. This is a problem over time because where there used to be physical threats everywhere in the lives of humans, now many threats are emotional and intellectually related. Certain aspects of the NEM Stress Response such as increased heart rate, elevated blood sugar levels, and anti-inflammatory reactions are perfect for running from a threat in the wild but can be very damaging if activated continually because of emotional triggers.

nature therapy and the NEM stress responseThe things that trigger the NEM Stress Response could be issues with a relationship or problems with work. It could even be stress over money. The important thing to be aware of is that regardless of where your stress is coming from, the physical response that you’re experiencing is the same as if there were a physical threat.

If you have a normal amount of stress in your life, there won’t be many long-term adverse effects of a triggered stress response but if you have chronic stress, there will ultimately be consequences for your health.

This brings us to the first example of nature therapy which helps to reduce stress and recover from stress. There was a study at the University of Illinois headed by Bin Jiang and his fellow colleagues which set out to discover what the effects of visualizing trees had on stress recovery. What they found was astounding. There is a relationship with between the percentages of how much tree coverage is present to the levels of cortisol in the blood.

This is groundbreaking information and is based solely on how much nature is seen, not related to sunlight or other variables. Now that we’ve touched on the basics of the study, we can dig a little deeper into what is located in the numbers to discover how meaningful the findings are.

The Extent That Nature Therapy Helps

We’ve talked a bit about how there have been findings to support the claim that nature therapy can reduce stress levels. Let’s see how much cortisol is reduced and for what percentage of the study group. For the 160 subjects in the study, each were given different control measurements of their stress levels and recovery during different stages of the process.

Researching nature therapy

What the researchers found was that there was a bell-shaped response curve to the natural images that showed how there was an ideal amount of tree cover for stress response. When there was hardly any tree cover (two percent) there was almost no difference in stress recovery. However, when the canopy cover was increased to about 24 percent there was a marked improvement in the stress recovery markers for men involved in the study, specifically in cortisol saliva tests and skin conductance levels.

Though there wasn’t a large difference in the cortisol levels of women during the trials, they did show on their self-reports that they felt calming effects associated with the images. The final numbers of the study showed that the group as a whole, regardless of gender, had a 41 percent success with calming effects to the minimal level of exposure to canopy levels.

Correspondingly, there was a 90 percent positive feedback throughout the group regarding the calming benefits of the images when the canopy percentage was increased to above 36 percent.

Nature therapy might be a newer concept among the medical community as far as the consideration for actual stress recovery is concerned but that doesn’t mean that it is without merit. If there is a way to reduce the levels of cortisol in your body after you experience a stressful situation and the method is simply to look at trees, it’s worth a try.

One of the interesting things about this study was that it didn’t take place in nature at all; these were simply images of trees that people were looking at. Whether or not there are added benefits of actually going out into nature for stress reduction on a visual level is not determined by this study – but it is a point of interest for the future.

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Stress Induced Inflammation and the NEM Stress Response

What is Inflammation?

stress induced inflammation and its symptoms

Stress-induced inflammation is the result of the immune system’s cells and their byproducts attacking pathogens or damaged cells. This process increases blood flow to the affected area, creating redness and warmth. The substances the immune system’s cells release can cause a leakage of fluid into the tissues and produce swelling.

Pain and irritation may arise from this process. Other symptoms include fever, stiffness, tiredness, headaches, chills, sweating, dizziness, low appetite, and aches and pains in different areas, like joints.

Immune cells are found all over the body. Leukocytes (a type of white blood cell) are produced in the bone marrow and lymphocytes (also a type of white blood cell) are found in the lymphatic system.

However, most of the body’s immunity actually begins in the gut. The gut contains two-thirds of immune tissue in what is called the GI tract’s immune system – the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT). The GALT is mainly located in the small intestine and is composed of different kinds of immune cells.

The immune system’s response can be divided into these main fields of operation: natural and specific immunity or cellular and humoral immunity.

Natural immunity is the general defense system against pathogens. It works by producing phagocytic cells, cytokines, and killer cells. Phagocytic cells, like neutrophils and macrophages, destroy infectious pathogens. Cytokines stimulate the cells needed in the immune response to move to the affected areas (sites of infections or injuries) and help these cells communicate. Natural killer cells (a subset of white blood cells also called NK) kill infected or cancerous cells important source.
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Specific immunity targets specific “jobs” or threats. It includes NKs, B cells that create antibodies to support humoral immunity, and T helper cells that create cytokines to support cellular immunity.

With regard to cellular and humoral immunity, the difference is that cellular (also called cell-mediated immunity) tags and destroys intracellular pathogens, like viruses. It doesn’t involve antibodies, but antigen-specific Th1 lymphocytes, T cytotoxic cells, and NKs.

Humoral immunity on the other hand, which is immunity that involves substances found in extracellular fluids, deals with extracellular pathogens like bacteria or parasites. It does this through Th2 cytokines that stimulate B cells into producing antibodies and antimicrobial peptides that mark extracellular pathogens for disposal.

Stress and high cortisol levels affect the immune system. They promote proinflammatory pathways, especially the activity of Th2 cytokines, creating a Th1 to Th2 shift. This shift suppresses cellular immunity in favor of humoral immunity.

With chronic stress, both Th1 and Th2 classes of cytokines can dysregulate, causing the suppression of both types of immunity and be slowing down the healing of wounds, producing less effective defenses against viral and bacterial infections, longer recovery from surgery, and a decrease in the ability to kill cancer cells.

Without an optimally functioning immune response, the risk of low-grade and persistent inflammation is increased, even though the inflammation itself is no longer able to contain infections or help injury recovery as well as it should.

The rise in proinflammatory cytokines involved in stress-induced inflammation can also trigger the development of autoimmunity. These cytokines can stimulate the immune system to attack the body’s healthy cells, mistaking them for unhealthy cells or harmful intruders. Depending on which organ or system has been damaged by the immune response, you get a specific disease picture with its own set of symptoms.

For example, if the cytokines stimulate the immune system into attacking the respiratory airways, you can develop asthma. If the immune system attacks the pancreatic cells that produce insulin, you can develop type 1 diabetes.

Stress, when chronic in nature or when it comes at a time when an individual is in a fragile state (such as during certain hormonal changes for women like pregnancy or menopause, or when there is an illness present), can also trigger the development of autoimmunity and chronic disease.

The underlying connection is, as mentioned earlier, that chronic stress induces inflammation, and inflammation is at the root of these problems.

Stress, Inflammation, and Aging

Adrenal Fatigue Treatment

Adrenal Fatigue Treatment

Stress also has an effect on the aging process because inflammation has an effect on aging. Aging is caused by cellular senescence, which is the irreversible cell cycle arrest that comes from changes in the length and structures of telomeres.

Telomeres are the “caps” at the end of DNA strands; they are there to protect chromosomes. When these telomeres are shortened or changed, they cannot do their jobs as well and the DNA strands are exposed to damage.

Stress-induced inflammation can accelerate cellular senescence through progressive telomeric shortening as well as oxidative stress and oncogene activation. Oncogenes are genes that, when activated, have the capacity to cause cancer.

Aging has also been linked to an increase in free radicals, hormonal decline and the decline in mitochondrial adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is thought of as the energy currency of life; it is the molecule that stores the energy needed for all biological processes. Mitochondria, the organelles found in cells, synthesize this life energy by breaking down carbohydrates and fatty acids.

With free radicals, you require antioxidants to neutralize them. If your system is overloaded with free radicals, antioxidants are no longer sufficient. As the cells are exhausted and not producing enough ATP, antioxidants cannot help much. Oxidative medicine may be the better alternative as it puts energy directly into the body again. The use of natural compounds that have metabolic cardiological properties such as ribose, magnesium, CoQ10, and carnitine may be helpful to the mitochondria in optimizing ATP function.

Adrenal Fatigue and Inflammation

As you can see, the interplay between stress, inflammation, and adrenal gland function are closely tied together.

Stress-induced inflammation is a huge stressor on the body – strong enough to trigger adrenal fatigue treatment or add to its many problematic symptoms like tiredness, depression, brain fog, food sensitivities and general weakness. All systems of the body are affected.

Because the NEM’s inflammation response includes the immune system, brain, and gut, its dysregulation from chronic stress will affect all of these components as well.

When these organs and systems are overworked, you not only get problems with them directly, but the adrenal glands will become overworked as well. When the adrenal glands cannot suppress this stress-induced inflammation, the cycle continues.

Throughout the article, we have mentioned a few tests and markers for stress, which can also help you determine whether you could develop stress-induced inflammation over time. There are also some specific ways to test for inflammation directly, using symptoms as well as markers.

 

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