The Risks of Caffeine and Miscarriages.

I ran across an article in the newspaper that talked about how caffeine may raise the risk of a miscarriage and thought how many negatives there are to consuming caffeine. I have talked about it many times concerning restless leg syndrome and how it can increase the severity of the symptoms. I have mentioned it in the article about how to sleep better and drinking things that have caffeine in them late at night isn’t going to help you have a better night sleep. All of that information is important to know about caffeine but not life threatening, however this information is and if you are thinking about getting pregnant or are pregnant this could be critical to know.

The article was from  a study of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, that you can read more in depth at www.ajog.org. In essence the study found that consuming large amounts of caffeine during pregnancy by drinking coffee, soda, tea or hot chocolate increases the risk of a miscarriage. The study said that caffeine crossed the placenta barrier easily and once in the fetus it may stay there longer. It also said that in large quantities, caffeine may also decrease placental blood flow and harm development. So not only should pregnant women limit their intake of caffeine but if you are thinking of becoming pregnant you should do the same because the first 20 to 40 days after an egg is fertilized is a key time in its development.

So many important things to know out there but sometimes we don’t have the time to research them all. For me having children is one of the greatest joys in this life and I would hate to see someone have their hopes crushed just because they didn’t know that little bit of information. At least I can pass it along to all of you and maybe it will save just one pregnancy as a result.

Kris

Avoiding Kidney Stones by Having Healthy Kidneys!

Well, it might not be a rite of passage, but somehow having the experience of kidney stones does seem to touch most of us at one time or another. It can effect old or young, male or female, no one seems to be exempt. Why do we have them? I have read that eating too much animal protein, taking in too much calcium, being over weight, hereditary tendencies, not drinking enough water or drinking too much soda pop can all factor in, but it doesn’t seem to matter what caused it when you are in the throes of passing a kidney stone and having the excruciating pain that accompanies it. You just have to experience that once and even if it didn’t lead to surgery you know that you never want to experience it again. So, how do we have healthy kidneys and avoid having those kidney stones? Since I have experienced this myself and have sought expert advise as well as listened to what others have done about it and the advise they have received, I have come up with the following conclusions, that have seemed to work for me and others with whom I am acquainted. First of all, drinking lots of water is important, but it is for many other health reasons as well, so you should be drinking around 64 oz. a day anyway. Second is calcium, it is important to have enough but maybe watch that you don’t take in an excessive amount. Third is watching your red meat intake. I am not going to try to dissuade people from eating red meat, just do it in moderation. Fourth is soda pop. How do we stop a national addition to soda pop? I don’t have the answers to that, but you ask patients that are on kidney dialysis and they will tell you that their doctors tell them how harmful soda pop is for their kidneys and that they should never have it again. I had one such patient tell me that the doctor told her if she had avoided soda pop all her life she probably wouldn’t have to be on dialysis now. Ouch!

OK, so we probably have already done all of those bad things to our kidneys, so how do we help our kidneys get healthy and stay that way? This is such a simple formula and works wonders. I would like to take credit for it, but my doctor gave me this little tidbit and I love it. He told me that once a month I should flush out my kidneys by drinking 1 gallon of distilled water with 10 to 12 fresh squeezed lemons in it. He said I could sweeten the drink with a natural sugar like Stevia, but I don’t like the after taste Stevia has so I sometimes put in a little white sugar. I know a real no no. Anyway, you are suppose to drink the whole gallon in one day. Again, I sometimes have trouble downing it all in a day so I might go into the second day, unless I am really hurting and then I make sure I follow the doctors orders. I also follow the advice of a friend that had kidney surgery to remove the stones, I make lemonade my choice of drinks instead of soda pop.

Heres to healthy kidneys!

Kris

Iodine and Thyroid

I just heard on the news about a link between iodine and thyroid. That is the second time I have been reminded of the link between the two, and since I have had personal experience with a low thyroid, I felt it was worth commenting about on my blog. There are many thyroid problems, but the main one I am going to talk about today is Hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism stems from an underproduction of thyroid hormones. Since your body’s energy production requires certain amounts of thyroid hormones, a drop in hormone production leads to lower energy levels. I think this is the most common problem and one that seems to effect women in particularly as they age. I talked more in depth about this when I was discussing Bio-Identical Hormones, but in essence being low in the thyroid hormone can cause weight gain, lack of energy, hair falling out and cold hands and feet. The very best test for thyroid problems is a blood test with your doctor, but have them test for T3 and T4 not just TSH, which is the standard test and really doesn’t tell you anything.

Before I knew about Bio-Identical Hormones I had my thyroid tested and it was for the TSH. The doctor said it wasn’t that low, but I explained I was tired all the time and couldn’t lose weight, so he put me on Synthroid and for the next 2 years absolutely nothing changed. It wasn’t until I met with my hormone doctor that I learned about T3 and T4. I also learned about a little test to see if my iodine levels were low. He explained that iodine can help the thyroid to function better. He told me to rub regular iodine on my upper inner arm and watch it for 24 hours. If it disappeared before that time I was low in iodine. He also wanted me to keep track of when it disappeared, because the sooner it did the lower I was in iodine. I don’t think mine lasted for more than 5 hours before it completely disappeared. I was amazed. If you know anything about iodine it use to be a common treatment for cuts and scrapes. It would sting like the dickens and it would stain your skin for a very long time. You can understand why I was amazed when it completely disappeared in 5 hours. My doctor then put me on a supplement called Iodoform with iodine to build back my levels of iodine and to make sure the thyroid medicine I was taking would be effective.

I now make sure all my salt has iodine in it. If you didn’t know that most salts have it as part of the ingredients then check out the container next time you buy it. It is a smart way to get some of the iodine your body needs.

It might be worth the time to take the iodine test. It is an easy test to do and you can see immediately if you are low in iodine. Also, if you have some of the symptoms I talked about for low thyroid you might want to have your doctor do the blood test because low iodine could be effecting your thyroid.

Kris

Parents Get Smarter The Older We Get!

I am sure you have heard the phrase or experienced it yourself, that parents get smarter the older we get. As I have gone through all my health problems I have come to realize that my father, who was a dentist, not only followed but gave us a great example of how to have a very healthy lifestyle and he did it in such a way I never really noticed. Too bad I forgot and didn’t continue what he showed me all my life. As I look at the findings of scientific research on health and what to eat, I realize my dad was a genius. Here are some little health gems that my father followed:

1. We always had juice in the mornings. We called it blue juice but it was none other than the amazing blueberry. That great antioxidant with a myriad of benefits.

2. He always had a bowl full of a variety of nuts in their shells (the most healthy way to eat them by the way). We loved them because it was so fun to use the nut cracker.

3. He was always cutting up whole red apples with their skins on for us to snack on, whether we were watching TV, reading or playing outside. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” I just read an article about that very quote and how it really does help us to stay healthy.

4. He did push ups and went for walks everyday of his life until he died.

5. He always made us have a big breakfast without the sugary cereal. We could have it after we ate our regular breakfast of good healthy food, as I am sure you have guessed, we weren’t all that hungry after our regular breakfast as it turned out.

And last but not least, almost every night we played games together. Now how is that healthy? I’ll let you figure that one out.

Kris

A Cure for Every Body?

One thing I have learned about health is that every body is different in how it responds to medical treatment, to natural healing, to herbs, to alternative medicines. I once thought that when I discovered some great cure that it would work for everyone. Obviously, that isn’t the case and it is never so apparent as in all the crazy diet schemes that are out on the market. Two people can be on the same diet and one will lose weight and the other won’t. I have found that true for a lot of other things as well, and sometimes it is nothing more than a feeling that a person has that they don’t like what is happening to their body or how the cure is effecting them, whether that is physically, psychologically, mentally or emotionally. So how does one know what to try and what will work. I had a homeopathic healer tell me that we are our own best doctors and if we really listen to our bodies they will tell us what we need. Now she didn’t mean that we would just know what to do and what to use, but rather through a series of trial and error searches and trying different things, if we listened to how our bodies were responding we would know if it was working. I don’t need a doctor to tell me when a drug is having an adverse effect on me and I am becoming allergic to it and I believe we can do the same with all types of treatments.

So how do we go about this search? Well, first of all there are some things we know will help the majority of us. Getting enough sleep! I would put a number of hours on that but I had a friend that could sleep only 4 hours a day and she still had more energy than I did. Again, just listen to your body.

Exercise! We all need to have this be part of our life style, but the type of exercise you choose again should be what works best with your body. I can’t run marathons like my daughter but I can dance the same amount of hours (well I use to be able to) and feel just great.

Eating right! We just have to have the will power to avoid fast foods and the trends of eating that this country has taken. I saw an email on the comparison of how much meals cost between 4 different countries and of course the USA was one of them. The thing that captured my attention wasn’t the difference in cost between the countries which was significant, but the types of foods each countries’ families were consuming. Guess which country had the worst diet with very little fruits and vegetables and whole grains? That’s right the good old US of A.

Enjoying life! We just have far too many stresses, sometimes self imposed, so we need to take time to smell the roses and relax. Stress is killing people and they don’t even know it.

OK, so that is all well and good but what about all these health secrets I am sharing with you or that you read on the internet? Well, if you find yourself trying to find a cure for something that is bothering you, you are already listening to your body so go ahead and try out whatever treatment you have found. It’s the trial and error that works AND listening to your body. I know that the things I talk about will really work for some of you without question. I know they will because they have worked for others, but they might not for everyone. So keep searching and trying. I know you will found something if you don’t give up. We don’t have to accept feeling bad or hurting or having bad health. There are answers out there, you just have to expend a little energy to find them. I know you can do it so keep searching there really is a cure for every body.

Kris